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Property Sales Process - The Compromis de Vente (Exchange of Contracts)e

The Compromis de Vente the contract that sets out all of the details of the deal, including personal detail of the parties to the deal, the detail of the property being sold, a number of statutory clauses (such as the requirement for local searches, clear title etc), and the ‘Clauses Suspensives’. These are additional clauses agreed between buyer and seller, and typically include; the dependence of completion on the successful securing of a mortgage on the part of the buyer;  the inclusion of an inventory of fixtures, fittings, furnishings and equipment; subject to securing outline planning permission. If the property exceeds 4 hectares of land, it will often be offered to SAFER (a government agency responsible for the management of the countryside) for first refusal.

Etude Diagnostique
The ‘Etude Diagnostique’ also forms part of this contract.

By the time of signing the Compromis, a deposit representing 10% of the gross purchase price needs to have been transferred to the bank account of the Notaire by the Buyer. This is refundable if the deal subsequently fails if any of the clauses fails to be satisfied (eg local searches reveal the planned construction of a project that materially adversely affects the value of the property, or the buyer is unable to secure a mortgage on the stated terms). If the Buyer pulls out for other, non-allowed reasons, then the deposit is forfeited. If the buyer dies between Compromis and Acte, the deal is annulled – if the vendor dies during this period, his or her estate is still obliged to carry on with the sale on the pre-agreed terms.


See also the Seven Day Cooling Off Period

The Property Sales Process

Initial Visit & Valuation

Marketing Strategy


Promulgation / advertising

Property visits


Etude Diagnostique

Compromis de Vente

Cooling Off Period

Acte de Vente & Handover


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