Buying a House With Land in France

In France, buying a house with land can occur anywhere but a buyer needs to know that the best areas to get good value for money can be found in the outer suburbs and in the countryside. For those not concerned with price, but want the best, can pick and choose from the 20 neighborhoods around the city

Processes involved in buying a house with land

The processes for buying and selling real estate are standardized to follow similar paths with very minor deviations.


An initial offer is made by the buyer
The buyer will instruct a French notaire to meditate between the two parties
The seller may instruct another notaire to act on his behalf and will share the same fee which is normally paid by the buyer.
Following this, either a compromise de vente or promesse de vente to purchase is prepared and signed. This is done within a week of the seller entering an oral agreement with the buyer. The contract can be prepared by the real estate agent or a legal advisor but not the notaire who is like a tax collector for the government.
The seller must ensure that all terms are included in the contract and the buyer has understood all the terms entered in the agreement.
After the signing of the contract, a “cooling off” period of 7 days is given to the buyer to ponder whether or not to make the purchase. If he decides to purchase, he must pay a deposit of 10% of the purchase price to the 3 professionals (notaire, legal advisor and agent), who will hold the deposit as a stakeholder.


After the signing of the sales agreement, the seller is fully committed, but if he wishes to withdraw, the deposit of 10% paid by the buyer must be returned in full.
Under French law, the buyer has a cooling off period of 7 days after the signing and will receive the full amount of his deposit if the seller wishes to withdraw after the signing
If the buyer withdraws on the 8th day after sighing, the deposit will be paid to the seller.

After the signing and deposit payment

The legal advisor or notaire will check on the title and make enquiries into any developments intended in the vicinity of the property.
The seller may be required to provide information on the presence of lead, termites and asbestos in the building. The seller is obliged to provide an energy diagnosis (diagnostic de performance énergétique) on the energy consumption rate for the premises and any environmental impacts from green house has emission.
The seller is also obliged to provide a Gas Diagnostic Certificate (Un état de l’installation intéieure de gaz naturel) showing gas installations exceeding 15 years in duration along with safety issues with the gas system.

The finishing touches

Both parties will meet at the notaire’s offices to sign the acte authentique or the deed of purchase during which the buyer pays the balance of the purchase price. The notaire will use the money to repay any outstanding mortgage, if any.

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