The purchase of a real estate property in France by a non resident is an international operation, intrinsically complex.


Before the purchase, the following matters must be checked with the potential buyer: personal/family situation, finance and aim: how long will he keep the estate, aim (investment for rent or leasure home), whether the estate be passed on to his relatives or not. A form is available in English and in French. (link)


A written study must then be drafted, to explain the potential buyer the taxation of the purchase, ownership and sale. The study must also explain the legal consequences of the purchase (in the event of a divorce of death of the owner). This study will dictate the most adequate structure according to the potential buyer’s aim. A company can be set up (investment for rent), a marriage contract or a modification to the marriage contract can be signed (leasure home) and an option for the inheritance law of the country of citizenship of the buyer (if the buyer a citizen of a member state of the EU).


After the study, the preliminary agreement can be signed. The aim of the preliminary agreement is not only to bind the parties, but also to set the terms and conditions of the sale. This agreement has to be exhaustive and allow perfect knowledge of the real estate property to avoid the potential buyer unpleasant surprises after the signature of the agreement. It guarantees the signature of the deed of purchase under good conditions.