Finding/Owning French Property

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Geeked [geek]

Do we need to use a UK based French conveyancing firm to complete purchase of home in France?

We have just had our offer accepted on a little house in the Creuse, which is to be our holiday home. We have a lovely estate agent who has promised to guide us through the whole process. However, I have read much about the importance of having your own solicitor to represent your needs when buying in France, since the notaire is there to ensure that all admin is correctly processed, rather than ensuring the buyers needs are met. What are people's views on the importance of having a solicitor? We attended a property exhibition recently in the UK and the attending specialist Law firm quotes an average of £3k fees for their work :( However, helpful though our agent is, in reality they are working to get the sale through for the vendor...I wondered if there is some middle ground where services of a legal translator could be used to ensure the contract is in order? I do speak French, but my knowledge of legal jargon is poor. Thanks in advance for any advice available
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Re: Do we need to use a UK based French conveyancing firm to complete purchase of home in France?

AFAIK, no benefit in paying for a UK firm on top of paying for the notaire who would do all that is necessary to ensure the sale is legal.

If you are worried about not understanding the contract, you could try an English-speaking notaire or, instead of paying solicitor's fees, I think your money could be better spent on having the documents translated by a registered, qualified translator.

Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: Do we need to use a UK based French conveyancing firm to complete purchase of home in France?

Using solicitors is not the norm in France. The Notaire is responsible for the paperwork and taxes and they will insist that you know enough French to understand what you are signing but that means a translator not a bilingual lawyer.
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Re: Do we need to use a UK based French conveyancing firm to complete purchase of home in France?

Snap!
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Re: Do we need to use a UK based French conveyancing firm to complete purchase of home in France?

If you need a translator, then there will be legalise translators in France, employ one.

Having your own notaire, boff, they are paper pushers in France, they get the paperwork prepared, and sort the taxes out, sometimes in their own sweet time, others are efficient. And you will never know which is good, inefficiency is just a risk one takes. My feeling is that all Notaires feel that their responsibility is to the state and neither side of the sale.

It is the taxes that make them so expensive. Arm and a leg they are.




And that paperwork, well, there are pages and pages of it, and things like rights of way etc are skimmed over without a thought, when these things can be, at best, more or less fine, and worst a nightmare to deal with.

The only thing that our notaire, because we naively believed that we should have our own, was interested in, was  reiterating at least a dozen times was that I should not peg washing out at the front of the house! My neighbours on our little estate did just that with the same paperwork, but I never did and never would have done. No idea if they had been told the same when they bought, but it was on the paperwork.

The rights of way were too....... and if it were mentioned at all was so quick that neither of us caught it.......and that certainly created problems over the years...... and since we sold has created awful problems for my old neighbours and our buyer.

So hire a legal translator, although at this point in the proceedings, even if something was wrong and you have paid your deposit, I cannot help but wonder how you could get out of the sale.




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Re: Do we need to use a UK based French conveyancing firm to complete purchase of home in France?

I agree with Idun, especially on the rights of way issue which is so complicated in France.
We sold our first house to a couple from Holland and they brought their own lawyer. They did an inspection of the house with him, and all he did was check the light switches and other electrics worked.
For our second sale, to a french couple, we weren't there, gave the notaire power of attorney.The only slight query which came out later was that they hadn't realised the significance of the provided adverse report on the fosse septique. They were from Paris, so only used to mains drainage.

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Geeked [geek]

Re: Do we need to use a UK based French conveyancing firm to complete purchase of home in France?

Thank you all for your replies, which are all very reassuring. I think we will discuss our concerns with the agent and look for a good translator. Thanks again!
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Re: Do we need to use a UK based French conveyancing firm to complete purchase of home in France?

We used our own Notaire - no extra charge than if both buyer and seller use the same one.

The legal documents I put through Google Translate. Whilst the translation may not be 100% perfect nothing came up that caused us to want to have a translator then do it.

3k for the UK firm sounds like a very nice little earner - did you pay anywhere near 3k when you bought your last house in the UK? Bet their sales pitch was full of dangers if you did not use their services.
BREXIT - wonder what the future holds
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