The first contract which the buyer is asked to sign, very often in the Estate Agents office, is more often than not drawn up by the estate agents who have no legal qualifications. Because the estate agent’s priority is to get a first contract signed by the buyers, there is a natural tendency for the Estate Agents to gloss over any problem areas there might be with regard to the property.
It is often a case of not what the contract says, but what it does not say! If these additional areas are not covered in the first contract, the Notaire will not be obliged to look into them. You could therefore, by not taking advice from us as Anglo French property lawyers, have unconsciously “sleepwalked” into numerous potential problems which you knew nothing about when you contracted to buy the property!
It is therefore very important that a purchaser seeks independent French legal advice from French property lawyers such as ourselves before he or she signs the first contract (the “compromis de vente”). If for some reason that has not been done, it is important that the buyer seeks such advice from us IMMEDIATELY he or she receives a copy of the signed first contract which under French Law has to be sent to the person buying a French property by recorded delivery giving him her or them notice of the right to retract the contract within 7 days of receipt.
If you do sign without first taking such advice, you could find yourself legally obliged to purchase the property (or forfeit the deposit you have paid or are obliged to pay) even though the contract has been drawn up without you first having found out whether there are any undisclosed matters such as the rights of way held by other persons across the property or whether you have all the necessary rights of way to get to the property or to the use of essential utility services. There are many other aspects which need to be investigated before you sign a contract, which investigations Barney & Company as French property lawyers will do for you.
We offer a FREE INITIAL DISCUSSION for not more than 20 minutes of your requirements relating to the purchase or sale of French property or issues relating to that property such as Wills succession rights.