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Making an offer on a property in France or the “offre d’achat”


Yes, negotiating property prices is possible. No, it is not accessible to everyone.

Making an offer on a property or so called in French “offre d’achat”, is the document that, in theory, commits you to purchasing a good from the seller.

Here are some key factors to consider while drafting your purchase offer:

Property valuation:

As a buyer, one will quickly acquire an instinct guided by what they like most. Even for property specialists, like us at DELCADE, with years of expertise, comparing distinct rural homes is always complicated.

Many elements determine a reasonable valuation, including geography, local surroundings, conditions, and even subjective considerations like a nice view.

And remember, if the property is still on the market, it means no one has agreed to it, so far. So, you might as well ask yourself two determining questions:

  • For how long has the property been on sale?
  • Why would they want to sell it?

What are the required documents?

Once you find your perfect match, and there’s no place left for doubt or hesitation: go make that offer. And it goes without saying that to be able to do so, you will be required to provide a few legal documents:

  • Birth or wedding certificates,
  • Passport copies with at least 6 months until it expires.

Is it legally binding?

Unlikely to the UK where a “subject to contract” sale is most likely to be characterized, in France, if you make any offer to a seller, to buy their property, even if only verbal, and only if the seller accepts it, you would be providing the basic conditions of a contractual commitment. For information, the seller will be legally obligated to accept the offer, if it corresponds to the asked amount.

The main purpose to prepare a written offer is to secure your property to be. When prepared, it should always mention that the sale is only conditional on the agreement on a sale and purchase contract, whose specific object is to elaborate all the specific conditions that should be applying.

Once the sale and purchase contract is all set, you will still have safeties. One of your primary safeties is that the law provides a buyer with a ten-day cooling off period during which you can cancel the contract without any kind of sanctions.

At this point of the procedure, the law expressly prohibits a seller or agent from requesting a deposit. So, at no circumstances should you pay any kind of deposit to the owner or the real estate agency.


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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