Waiting For The Sale

Paying the deposit

You would normally be expected to pay a 5 or 10% deposit to the estate agent or the notaire immediately your cooling off period has expired.

A French bank account

You can buy a house without a euro bank account, by doing a bank to bank transfer of the money to the notaire. However, you can’t nowadays arrange an electricity supply for your new property without a French bank account. You can open one with a branch near your property, although it’s a good idea to make an appointment in advance as they tend to need lots of notice and even more paperwork. Credit Agricole – one of the major banks - runs a special English speaking service that can be accessed via phone and the internet from the UK and is very useful if you are not permanently based in France.

What next?

Assuming you do not change your mind in the 7 day period and that the conditions if any are met, the sale will proceed in about 3 months. During this time you may also be asked to provide documents such as copies of your birth and marriage certificates and so on for the official records.

You must apply for planning permission - and receive the answer - if you have made receiving it a clause suspensive. Likewise you must apply for your mortgage etc by the dates laid out in the initial contract. Once the notaire has completed the preparations and the sale date is arranged, you must pay the outstanding sum on that date at his office.

Just before the sale, you will usually be sent a copy of the final contract or Acte de Vente.


As of the day you become the owner, you are legally obliged to have the property insured for 3rd party damages. This is not expensive (about 100€ per year) and can usually be arranged in advance by whoever you are buying through.

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