How to buy

How to buy a property on the French Riviera ?

Prior to real estate purchase you should define your needs, your wishes and your budget. Property search and decision-making: search, visit (to enquire at best about the property and its environment), decision-making


Preliminary sales contract:

can be either a unilateral agreement to sell or a provisional sales agreement. Preliminary sales contract is very important because it determines the terms and conditions of sale

Cooling-off period:

at this stage you have 10 days to change your mind without giving any reason and without incurring any penalty. After the expiration of the 10-day time limit, if you decide not to proceed with the purchase, you will lose the deposit


this stage determines the feasibility of your property purchase. If you are refused credit by your bank, you can get the deposit back if obtaining a credit was mentioned as a condition precedent

Deed of sale (« acte de vente »):

once the deed of sale is signed at the notary’s office, the keys are handed over to a new owner as well as a provisional deed of title called « attestations de signature » and permitting to effect your first administrative procedures while awaiting the definitive deed of title

Definitive Deed of Title: you’ll obtain your definitive deed of title after the notary effects a number of formalities, i.e. the registration with land registry. On average, this process takes from 3 to 6 months from the day of signature

Notary Fees:

Notary is a key figure in the transaction: all the funds concerning real estate acquisitions pass through the notary’s secured account, and notaries are involved in collecting taxes.
Notary fees are fixed by decree and depend on the value of the purchase. They make up about:
 7% of the total purchase price for the pre-owned property
2.5% for the new build

The fees are regressive (the higher the purchase price – the lower the fees).

The fees consist of Notary fees, third party fees and fiscal administration fees:
The Notary  is a neutral legal advisor who drafts the deeds and verifies the legitimacy of the operation...His fees are fixed by decree and are proportional to the purchase price. 20 % VAT is added to it.
Third party fees are the fees paid by the buyer: land registrar’s salary, postal fees, etc.

Stamps and taxes paid in favor of the Public Treasury: registration taxes. They consist of local commune tax, department tax and a charge for valuing the property for the purpose of taxation and equivalent to 2,5% of the department tax.
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