Preferences Preferences To safeguard0
Contact us
Côte d'Azur (Cannes)
Sotheby's International Realty
Côte d'Azur (Beaulieu)
Sotheby's International Realty
Côte d'Azur (Cap Ferrat)
Sotheby's International Realty
Côte d'Azur (St Tropez)
Sotheby's International Realty
Côte d'Azur (Nice)
Sotheby's International Realty
Send an email



My research
  1. Home
  2. >
  3. Tax Laws & Regulations
  4. >
  5. Buy and Sell In France

Buy and Sell In France

Share this link
Buy and Sell In France

First-time buyers or international investors, the process of acquiring real estate in France can seem complex.

The article proposed below clarifies the overall procedure, and the Côte d'Azur Sotheby's International Realty teams stand by your side in each step of your real estate project.

The acquisition process

Usually - and although this is not a mandatory stage - your acquisition will begin with a promise to purchase - a written offer led by the potential buyer and addressed to the seller, which will also mention - if it applies - the proposed price if different from the one initially indicated.

The second stage is called the “compromis de vente” ie. preliminary sale agreement: it contains the terms of the sale, generally constitutes a fixed and firm contract between the seller and the buyer, and is accompanied by earnest money, a deposit of approximately 10% of the purchase price. This signature is followed by a seven-day “withdrawal period” for the buyer - during which he can freely terminate the contract by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. The seller, on the other hand, can no longer withdraw without valid reason. After the expiry of the withdrawal period, the buyer can no longer withdraw without losing his deposit - such as a down payment on the purchase price. Nevertheless, it is possible that the preliminary sale agreement contains suspensive conditions on which the validity of the contract will depend. Generally, these conditions relate to the ability of the buyer to obtain financing - a mortgage from a bank, or even obtaining a building permit. However, if this condition is not met, the buyer has the right to refrain from the acquisition without contractual penalty.

Finally, the signing of the "deed of sale" also called "authentic deed" takes place with a notary who will ensure that the sale complies with all legal requirements.

Purchase costs In France.  

The published selling price includes the real estate agent's commission which is - unless there is a counter-order, always mentioned on commercial media - paid by the seller.

In addition to the purchase price, the buyer pays the notary's fees as well as the registration fees (transfer duties, registration fees, etc.) which generally represent approximately 10% of the purchase price.

The sales process in France : the choice of real estate agent in France

The activities of the real estate agent are framed and governed by law 70-9 of January 2, 1970, known as the "Hoguet law" and its implementing decree of July 20, 1972.

The real estate agent must in particular:

- Take out a professional liability insurance

- Hold a professional card, subject to conditions of professional aptitude and morality, issued by the prefect and renewed each year,

- Have a financial guarantee with a bank or a professional organization (article 17 of the decree of July 20, 1972),

- Hold a written mandate authorizing him to negotiate or make a commitment on behalf of the owner or the lessor.

The sales mandate is mandatory and this contract must be signed by the principal (the seller) and by the agent (the real estate agent). It indicates, in particular, the limits of the mission entrusted to the real estate agent and the amount of his remuneration. Each mandate is numbered and entered in a register. In the event of an agreement resulting from a door-to-door canvassing, a 7-day reflection period must be respected before starting to market the property.

The mandate, limited in time, can be simple or exclusive.

• The simple mandate allows the principal to entrust the business to other professionals or to carry out the search for a possible buyer himself.

• In an exclusive mandate, the negotiation is entrusted to a single real estate agent who has exclusive rights.

Visit voucher

The visit voucher is a document drawn up by the real estate agency by which the client acknowledges having visited a property to be acquired or rented through the intermediary of the said agency. This visit voucher must be dated and signed by the client.


The real estate agent is subject to the general consumer information provisions provided for in the Consumer Code, and specified by the decree of 29 June 1990 relating to the advertising of prices charged by professionals involved in real estate transactions.

Find out more:

Other disclosure and transparency obligations:

- The number of the professional card;

- The amount of the financial guarantee in the event of receipt of funds for its customers;

- The name and address of the organization guaranteeing the agent;

- The name of the credit institution and the account number where the funds must be paid; any payment must lead to a receipt conforming to a regulatory model specifying the reason for the payment and its amount.

For your real estate project - purchase or sale of a luxury apartment or a prestigious villa on the Côte d'Azur - the team of real estate experts from Côte d'Azur Sotheby's International Realty will accompany you for a fast and smooth transaction.