France is one of the safest property investments in the world

I find myself in a strange position this week – I am feeling sorry for French estate agents. Having just done a two-day course on French law and ethics as it applies to French property transactions, I realize that I have, in the past, underestimated the huge legal responsibility that estate agents have in France and the legal liability if they get anything wrong.

Estate agents get a very hard time from all sides and it must be one of the only areas of business where someone is trying to work both for the buyer and seller at the same time. This is clearly not logical and the reason why buyers should bear in mind that, while an agent is there to propose and show you properties they have for sale, they are actually contracted to work for the seller so this is where their legal obligations lie. (Hence the need for a property finder working solely for the buyer but I have written about that many times in the past; see here)

My two-day course, more than anything, reinforced what I already knew; that France is surely one of the safest places in the world to buy a property. French law is designed to always protect the consumer and hence there are so many safety nets for buyers in order to ensure that they have all the information they need at every stage and also the right to pull out at different points. The seller does not have the same rights and hence, a buyer can be sure that, once both parties have signed the initial Compromis de Vente, the purchase is secure from their point of view. The buyer also has the right to ‘get-out clauses’ known as a ‘clause suspensive’ for various reasons to ensure that, for example, should you not secure a mortgage, then you can still pull out. The seller does not have the right to get-out clauses.

I would always advise having someone to help you through the buying process but, in France, buyers can be sure that they are protected at every step of the purchase and have the law on their side from start to finish. There are many other uncertainties of course when buying a house abroad but there is no uncertainty when it comes to the buyer’s rights in a French property purchase.

If you need any help with your property search, get in touch:

Comments are closed.