The Legal Process of Selling a Property in France

What are your plans for selling your property in France? Want to determine whether you have any legal responsibilities but aren’t sure what they are? This page explains the many stages of the legal procedure and the legal criteria that must be met.


Consider first reading this essay on the six things you should know before selling your French property, which discusses these topics in further detail:


Putting your French property up for sale.


Determine how you intend to place your home on the market before you begin the legal procedure for selling: by yourself or through a real estate firm like esalesinternational. Selling a home without the help of a real estate agent is entirely legal here in France.


However, you should be aware that this will necessitate marketing your home, setting up property tours, and negotiating a sale price. Please look at our list of the 10 Best Tips for Selling Privately.


Appointing a notary

A Notaire (French lawyer) is your first legal requirement when selling a property in France. In France, all property sales must be handled by a Notaire, who must be present at the signing of the contract of sale (or title deed).


There will be a Notaire in charge of setting up the compromis de vente (preliminary contract), confirming that both parties satisfy legal requirements, and managing the transaction. A notaire’s fees are the obligation of the buyer when selling a property; however, the Notaire is usually chosen by the seller.


Build and conduct diagnostic surveys

The vendor is obligated by law to pay for and conduct several surveys. A lead paint assessment, an asbestos survey, and a report on energy efficiency are all included in this package. You may learn more about property surveys in France by reading our comprehensive guide.


On top of that, the seller must provide the buyer with all relevant information on the purchase of the property. Services (easements), tenant contracts, and flooding difficulties fall under this category. Anything that might interfere with the property’s usual operation.



Legally, you must continue to pay all applicable taxes on the property even after finding a buyer and signing the compromis de vente. Taxes such as the foncière and d’habitation are included in this. You may also be subject to capital gains tax.


Owners in the UK should be aware that, as of January 1, 2021, if they intend to sell their French property, they may be legally forced to do so through the use of a French Fiscal Representative as a result of Brexit.


Other legal obligations


Once a buyer has signed a contract with you, you must ensure that the property is in the same condition as stated in the compromis de vente and that the transfer is defect-free and peaceful.


To put it another way, the buyer should get the property in the same condition that they viewed it and signed the contract in, and you should provide the buyer with any relevant information on any difficulties that may impede their usual use of the property.

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