5 things you need to know to buy a property without running into problems
Buying a house or any other property is not something to be taken lightly, as it can quickly become a source of disputes and problems.
It is therefore essential to understand the various stages and legal implications, and to be accompanied by a legal professional, particularly a property lawyer.
Here's an in-depth exploration of the five key stages you need to know and master.
1. Pre-purchase surveys - the trick to avoiding hidden defects and the discovery of hidden defects after purchase Before you even consider buying, it's vital to assess the actual condition of the property you've chosen. It's not just a question of walls and tiles; it's about understanding the possible structural issues, hidden defects, leaks, seepage, damp problems and other faults that could affect the property. This will also enable you to put a figure on the cost of any work required, so that you can negotiate the sale price, so you should call in an expert either before you sign the compromis or just after, before the 10-day cooling-off period expires;
2. The buyer makes an offer to purchase at the right price - watch out for the seller! Have you found the property of your dreams? Before you take the plunge, there's a tricky part to consider: the offer to purchase. This must be an accurate reflection of the value of the property, taking into account the state of the market, the geographical location and any anomalies detected. An offer at the right price ensures a fair transaction for both parties. Once the seller has accepted an offer at the right price, he will no longer be able to withdraw. All that remains to be done is for the sale to proceed, firstly by means of a compromis or promesse de vente, and then by reiterating the sale by means of a notarised deed of sale.
Real estate agents and sellers: beware of duplication!
Me Zakine dealt with a case where the estate agent sold the property twice to two different buyers, by means of an offer to purchase signed by the first buyer, whose attitude was very ambivalent, and a provisional sale agreement signed by the second buyer. One of the buyers (the one who had first signed the offer to purchase at the right price) took legal action to force the seller to sell him the property. Negotiations between the two potential buyers, the sellers and the estate agent, and advice from all parties, including Me Zakine, enabled the estate agent to resolve this difficulty. One of the buyers was able to purchase his property and the proceedings were terminated by the withdrawal of all the parties involved.
3. Notarised or private sale agreement This stage is crucial, and precedes the signing of the deed of sale at the notary's office. The seller promises to sell you the property on pre-agreed terms, while you promise to buy it. This is a bilateral commitment backed up by a deposit paid by the buyer.
In a promesse de vente, the seller makes a commitment to the buyer (also known as the beneficiary) to sell the property at a specific price. This gives the buyer an exclusive "option" for a limited period of around three months.
During this period, it is forbidden to abandon the sale or offer the property to another buyer. The buyer has an option period in which to decide whether or not to buy the property. In return for this commitment, the buyer pays the seller an immobilisation indemnity. If the buyer acquires the property, this indemnity will be deducted from the sum to be paid. However, if the buyer decides not to buy (except within the 10-day cooling-off period, or if a condition precedent has not been fulfilled, such as not obtaining a mortgage, or if the buyer does not indicate his acceptance within the option period), the indemnity will be retained by the owner as compensation for the immobilisation of his property.
Now is the time to pay attention to the clauses! Choose your own notary and involve a real estate lawyer
4. Authenticated or private sale agreement (instead of promise to sell) : Much more than a simple promise to sell, the preliminary sale agreement seals the deal between seller and buyer. Both parties are now committed to finalising the transaction, on pain of financial penalties. This preliminary contract is a key stage in the realisation of your property dream.
5. Deed of sale: the D-day has finally arrived! The notarised deed is when the new buyer acquires the property under the aegis of a notary. The deed is said to be authenticated. It is a deed of sale. The diagnostics will be appended to the deed. If the property is co-owned, the last 3 minutes of the general meeting must be submitted, along with the co-ownership regulations and the descriptive inventory of division.