Problems foreigners face to buy a French property3150
All the foreign buyers who chose topurchase a property in France on their own will tell you that they came across some problems. You must consider these problems prior to the definition of your project. It will allow you to create a clear path to the last step of the legal process. A collaboration with a property finder in France is the best decision you can make as a foreign buyer. His experience and knowledge of the French real estate market liberate you from the problems usually encountered by foreigners. In this chapter, we will detail these problems for you. We will start with the problems occurring during the search for your ideal property. Then, we will focus on problems occurring during the legal acquisition. Finally, we will discuss the problems occurring once you become the owner of your new home.
Problems to find the ideal property in France
Too many search channelsWhere to start? That is one of the main problems face by foreigners during their search for a property n France. Maybe you are currently trying to answer this question as a foreign buyer. And we agree this is a very good question to ask! Too many online real estate portals, direct sales between individuals, French real estate agents’ websites. Or even adverts in specialist publications, exhibitions organised by various parties on the marketplace, auctions, direct sales through Notaries. There are too many ways to search for properties. No wonder you are not sure – a guaranteed way to bog your project down right from the beginning! Finding your ideal property in France should be fun. It should not become a time consuming and expensive ordeal!
Out-of-date ads on real estate portalsImagine the excitement of seeing a great property for sale online in France that perfectly fits your needs. And at a very attractive price! Now imagine your disappointment when, having contacted the seller, you find out that this property has already been sold. Or even that the seller has changed his mind and no longer wishes to sell the property. Imagine how annoying this would feel if it happened a few times in a row! Unfortunately, some sellers forget or are too lazy to remove their ads once their property is sold. This means that you ultimately never really have access to an up-to-date offer online. All this is a waste of more of your time. It is fortunately one of the problems that you can easily get around with our help.
Ads very different from realityPut yourself in the seller’s place. It is understandable for sellers to highlight the positive aspects of their properties. Indeed, many of them airbrush photos before putting them online. They obviously fail to show the flaws. In doing so, the sellers automatically increase the number of visits to their properties and increase their chances of selling their properties quicker. Of course, a good number of buyers will be disappointed when they visit the properties. A potential local buyer who has travelled 20 kilometers to view a property may be disappointed. How would you feel if it was you? You probably set aside two full days to visit a property that seemed perfect online. You travelled, spent hours on the plane to visit a property in France. And, eventually, it turns out not to be of any interest!
Repeated trips to France to visit propertiesThe interesting ads on the various search channels we previously mentioned will not all appear at the same time. You will probably visit one or two properties each time you travel to France. These repeated trips will lead to weariness as well as to an avoidable waste of time and money. Of course, you could be lucky. You could make a single trip and fall in love with the first property that you visit. But foreigners looking for a property in France travel on average 5 to 6 times to find the ideal property. Far too many trips! Too much money spent needlessly and time wasted. So, we have decided to put an end to this problem.
Lack of time to visitThis problem is very much linked to the previous one. Visiting properties in France when you are a foreigner requires time. Time you may not have. You need time to organise your trip, time during the actual stay in France, travel time. It is probably difficult to find a slot in your already busy schedule. Even more to visit properties that ultimately end up being disappointing.
Lack of time to look for propertiesThe search for real estate in France requires a time investment. But, your professional life may probably fill most of your time. The little free time you have left at the weekend is more than likely spent with family. You may not want to spend the little precious free time you have in unsuccessful searches of properties. You may also not want to spend all this time to eventually encounter the problems previously detailed.
Of course, you may not encounter all these problems when looking for your property in France. At least, we hope that you don’t! And, of course, you can always manage to overcome these problems on your own. Nevertheless, a collaboration with a French property finder like us would give you peace of mind. You will benefit from an access to the whole of the up-to-date French property market on offer matching your project. And, more important, you would limit the loss of time and money during the search process.
We will now turn our attention to the problems foreigners face once they have found their ideal property. They must now buy it by following the French property buying process.
Problems with the French property buying process
The property buying process in France is totally different from that of your country. Thus, many foreigners find themselves stuck in processes that they sometimes do not understand. In addition, French will be the language of all the documents relating to the sale. So their understanding can be tricky. By collaborating with French Property Connection, you will be able to bypass these problems. We will now focus on these major problems encountered by non-residents during the legal acquisition of their property.
Difficulties to negotiateSome foreign buyers face major problems at this stage, because of misunderstandings with the seller due to the language barrier or lack of knowledge of real estate negotiation skills. The price of most of the properties you will see on the French real estate market is overvalued. But, most sellers will be open to negotiations. You need to know how to cleverly negotiate the best possible price while making sure that you do not miss out your property! Few foreign buyers know the buttons to press to bring prices down. Also, the fact that few French sellers are fluent in English makes this a difficult stage for foreign buyers.
Null and void offers to purchaseOne of the main problems faced by foreigners through the legal process. The logical continuation of a verbal agreement with the seller on the price of a property in France is the submission of an offer to purchase. But can you write in French? Do you know the elements to include in the offer so that it is legally binding? Rest assured, it is a problem you can easily solve. Simply use our chapter dedicated to the offer to buy. Write this offer in your native language. Then, have it translated by a professional translator to French and you just have to pass it on to the seller!
Putting a preliminary sales contract in placeThe preliminary sales contract is used to prepare the transfer of ownership that will be carried out at the Notaire. In other words, every element included in this document will be final. So, once signed, you will not be able to pull back from the deal. Two types of preliminary contracts exist. We will detail them later in our chapter dedicated to this document. Major problem, some French sellers will not hesitate to use the fact that you are foreign. They will indeed consider that you may be unaware of the legal process. Thus, they will put in place a preliminary contract that protects them at your expenses. French will be the language of this document. Many foreign buyers sign the preliminary contract without understanding all its content. They trust the seller or the real estate agent, which can sometimes be dangerous.
Signing documents in French without understanding their full meaningAs the sale is taking place in France, all the documents (offer to buy, preliminary contract, deed of sale, French property title deed, bank documents) will be drawn up in French. While of course, you can trust some of the sellers or real estate agents, some may take advantage of the fact that you do not speak French.
Looking for funding in FranceIf you wish to apply for finance, please note that this is also available to you in France. Depending on your personal situation, the French financial institutions may be reluctant to offer a mortgage to a foreigner. Additionally, there are many options available on the market for this type of product. It is not always easy for foreign buyers to study them all and find the one that suits them best, whether it be on a cost level or on the specific features of each mortgage offered.
Understanding the NotaireAnother issue due to the language barrier. During the signing of the deed of sale, all the parties involved in the transaction will be present. The Notaire will explain the final formalities in French.
These are the problems encountered by foreign buyers when acquiring their property according to the purchase process. Similarly to the previous part, you probably will not encounter all of these problems. On the other hand, the translations we provide to you for all the documents are a big advantage. Indeed, they give you peace of mind before you commit. By collaborating with us, you can make sure that you do not make any mistake when setting up the documents. You also free yourself from any misunderstanding related to the language barrier. In addition, you will be assured that you will not face any discrepancies and that you will acquire your property according to the legislation in force.
Problems arising once the transaction is complete
Unfortunately, even once they have become owners of their property in France, foreign buyers can encounter problems. In all honesty, at this point, most of these problems are minor. You can quickly find a solution. Our support goes 6 years beyond the signature of the deed of sale at the Notaire. So, you still benefit from our assistance should you encounter one of these post-transaction problems.
Hidden defectsThe dreaded problem. Clearly the worst problem associated with a real estate transaction in France. A hidden defect is a non-apparent defect pre-existing the sale that you only discover later. To be considered as hidden, the defect must clearly hinder the full use of the property. And you have to prove that the seller was aware of it and that he voluntarily hid it from you. Not so easy! The solution is then to lodge a legal action against the seller. Thanks to this legal action, you will be able to assert your rights. You will be able to claim a full refund of the price you paid for the property or will get financial compensation to undertake the needed works. These actions must be carefully prepared to increase the likelihood that the judge will agree with you.
Setting up the utilities contracts required for the proper running of the propertyThe language barrier will once again be a stumbling block. This is one of the problems foreign buyers encounter when buying a property in France. Between the fact that you do not speak French and the large choice of offers on the market, it is difficult for you to choose and put in place the contracts best suited to your needs.
Undertaking work or renovationsForeign and French buyers alike may want to modify certain aspects of the property they have just purchased. Or even carry out major renovations. It may prove more difficult for foreign owners to clearly express their wishes and get quotes from craftsmen or construction companies. Moreover, distance makes the supervision of the quality of the work difficult.
These are the few problems that can arise once you have bought your property in France. Apart from hidden defects, which are an issue that can unfortunately lead to legal proceedings against the seller, resolving the other problems is easy.
Have you encountered problems when trying to purchase a property in France? Feel free to share your experience via the comment box below! Your feedback will certainly be useful to other foreign buyers, so they can avoid the problems you faced. Feel free to also ask us any question on the contents of this chapter. We will be delighted to assist you!