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French purchase process

The real estate contracts come from the Civil Code writes in 1804 by Napoleon. The characteristic of French real estate is the property which cannot be reappraisal.



All purchases have to be done with the notary, who is an escrow and a Government representing, and proves that the property is yours forever until you resale it.

Reservation contract

Once you have decided on a place you like at a mutually-agreed upon price, you and the developer sign a document known as a reservation contract (3 copies). This is the legally binding document which confirms that the developer must sell the property to the buyer. The attached documents also signed in 3 copies by the both parties are:

-          Accurate floor plan of the apartment or of the house;

-          The Technical description;

-          The provisional payment plan;

-          The Mass plan;

-          The parking and underground plan;

As the buyer is not a French real estate professional, he benefits from 14 days to change his mind. That is why, when the both parts has signed the reservation contract, the developer sends a copies of contract and all attached document. From the reception, the deadline of 14 days is starting. On the same time, the developer sends the same document to the notary.


To take out the property from the market, the buyer has to transfer a deposit of 5 % on the notary escrow account. The 5% will be transferred to the developer the day of signature of the definitive contract behind the notary. These 5% will be deduced from the price of the property.

The deposit is return to the buyer if:

-          He decides to cancel the deal during the 14 days deadline;

-          He does not obtain a mortgage;

-          The purchase cannot be closed from fact of the developer.



Unless you are able to pay cash your chosen property, you will need to arrange finance. French bank partners will provide a mortgage to an expatriate providing regular income can be proven. French law imposes that the sum of all mortgage payments you are liable to worldwide must not exceed 30% of your total income. You have to have mortgage protection insurance to cover a large mortgage and also undergo a medical test, at the bank’s expense. Subject to status, you may borrow as much as 75% of the property purchase price.

The bank asks many documents ( as Salary, employment agreement, last 5 months bank statement of your bank account where you receipt income, Copy of 2 ID documents...) ALL DOCUMENTS ASKED ARE TOTALLY CONFIDENTIAL.


1: The developer gives the price of the purchase, and the bank make an offer

2: To fill in the application form with all information

3: To supply all documents asked by the bank. Everything stays confidential by the bank

4: To send everything to the bank by mail or fax or post

5: The bank takes 2/3 weeks to examine your mortgage purchase, and can ask complementary documents or informations

6: When the bank has all document and info, it gives its decision. If yes, the bank open for you a bank account.

7: The bank sends you the contract of the mortgage, and the insurance document

8: You have to keep it during 11 days, and send it back 12 days after with the mortgage insurance document

9: At the signature of the definitive contract in the notary office, the bank sends the money to the notary.

10: Every month, you have to pay the mortgage.

Exchange contract

The French law obliges the notary to send you the exchange contract project in French (However, the notary can attach few explanation in English) to allow you to read the contract and the conditions during 1 month.

-          Then, you can go to the notary office to exchange contract and pay the call of funds.

-          Or, you can go to sign power of attorney in French Embassy

With the exchange contract project, the Notary sends you a power of attorney in presence of the Diplomacy. Then you send the proxy to the notary office to permit him to exchange the contract.

After the exchange contract, the notary saves the contract and transfers the fees to the French administration. It is the guaranty which proves that YOU ARE THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY.

If it is a new project:

You are the owner of the land where is site of the future property;

You will be the owner of the future property;

The developer has to build your property corresponding of the contract. (If he does not build your property for any reason, our bank is engaged to build your property in the same conditions and same deadlines planed by the developer).

Obligations as owner

-          To insure the property

-          To pay the managing fees agency in advance

-          To pay the Residential and Property tax once a year.



To follow you at each step of your purchase journey,
Our team is at your disposal to guarantee you the best deal.

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