Your guide to owning a property in France

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Selling a French property

We offer specialist, bilingual expertise to clients who require advice on all aspects of selling a property in France. Our advice is tailored to the client and is cost effective and practical.

We can assist you throughout the process:

  • Terms of the initial contract and supporting documentation, including proposed amendments or modifications
  • Liaising with the French notaire and other French advisers.
  • Making the necessary enquiries about matters such as planning issues, drainage and rights of way
  • The ownership structure in the light of French succession law and tax
  • The sale deed
  • French tax consequences arising from the transaction.
  • Advice on the French capital gains tax position and assisting the Notaire with the French formalities
  • Ensuring you receive the sale proceeds as quickly as possible after completion

Understanding the sales process

Every country is different but our breadth of experience means we are well placed to advise in the field of French property law:

Binding agreement

Please note that in French Law, as a Seller, you may be bound to sell to a Purchaser if you have accepted an offer in which the price and the property are evidenced in writing either by letter or evidenced in a series of e-mail conversations. We would recommend that if you receive any interest, either orally or in writing, you ask for advice.

Conditions included in the preliminary contract

The ‘Compromis de vente’ or in some cases the “Promesse de vente” is a very important document as it will govern the sale transaction.

We can advise you on who is to sign first, which amount of deposit is standard and which conditions suspensives are acceptable to you. A legally binding agreement enforceable against a Purchaser only exists when the “Compromis de Vente” has been signed by both parties and the seven days cooling.

French capital gains tax

You will have to consider whether any French capital gains tax and French associated social security charges will be payable in which case an accredited fiscal representative has to be appointed.


Once the Notaire receives all the relevant administrative documents he will then ask the parties to agree a completion date. You can either attend completion in person or you can give a Power of Attorney to the Notaire’s clerk to complete on your behalf.

Professional advisors

We are often asked to provide advice to other professional advisers who have clients with french law issues. Contact us for further details.

Our team

Our team is dual-qualified and has the expertise to advise on both English and French law. We belong to the relevant professional associations including the Barreau de Paris, Barreau de Bordeaux, Franco-British Lawyers Society, the French Chamber of Commerce and STEP UK and STEP France (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners).