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Compromis de Vente: one step closer to purchasing your French property



This is the step that comes after you made your offer, and it was accepted. It constitutes the first legally binding document you have signed to acquire your property. It is a written contract of sale agreement that sets forth the basic parameters of the agreement between the seller and the buyer, both being legally bound by the Compromis de Vente. That implies you must comprehend what you are signing and be certain of your purchase before doing so.

The French Notaire is responsible for drafting the Compromis de vente, even though another professional agent could take the responsibility, if they respect the Notaire’s legal validity.

What does the Compromis de Vente include?

  • Personal information about the buyer and seller,
  • A list of the items in question,
  • A target completion date,
  • Legal and agent fees,
  • Penalty clauses,
  • Details and description of the concerned property,
  • The price and deposit,
  • Seller’s declarations about the property,
  • Required surveys or inspections,
  • Provisional clauses.


Is it different from the Promesse de Vente?

Yes, in a Promesse de Vente, only the seller has an obligation. This consists in an option to purchase the property at the chosen price, preventing the seller from selling to any other party for a certain period. This option is compensated by a fee paid by the buyer. Fee that the owner will keep in case any decision against proceeding with the operation.

And even though the Promesse de Vente generates an obligation to the seller to sell his property, the court only demands from the seller, a compensation in the form of a lump sum plus interest, and never forces the sale.


Prerequisites before signing the Compromis de Vente:

Key terms of your purchase, a Compromis de Vente, is a fundamental aspect of the whole operation. Appointing an English-speaking legal adviser will help you make sure all points of the agreement are under control and will also reduce the risk of conflicts. After signing the Compromis de Vente, you will also benefit from a cooling-off period in which you are able to decline the purchase without any sanctions.


The following procedure: what’s next?

In about two to three months, it will be up to the Notaire to check the documentations and records linked to the concerned property. This process can be delayed in some cases but can be if it is made easier for the notary to reach the necessary documentations. That is where we, at FRELA, intervene. Proving once again, our capacity to assist, and advise you during the whole procedure.


About the Author :

Business lawyers, bilingual, specialized in acquisition law; Benoit Lafourcade is co-founder of Delcade lawyers & solicitors and founder of FRELA; registered as agents in personal and professional real estate transactions. Member of AAMTI (main association of French lawyers and agents).

FRELA : French Real Estate Lawyer Agency, specializing in acquisition law to secure real estate and business transactions in France.

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