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Buying an Apartment in Paris

Buying real estate in Paris

Bring your Paris dream to life

With no central multiple listing service (MLS), no price transparency, and over 3500 agencies in Paris, finding the right property is a challenge. Local agencies traditionally represent sellers, leaving buyers typically without representation.

Our English speaking team works with you as a buyer’s agent. We manage the entire selection process – from selecting properties through closing – making sure that you are not just acquiring a beautiful home but also making a sound investment. Throughout the process we can help you access financial, legal, renovation, and other bilingual resources to make your buying experience more efficient and stress-free.

The timeline below shows a typical market buying process.

Timeline of a typical market buying process

Stage 1: Preparation

  • Determine budget
  • Obtain bank pre-approval for mortgage
  • Evaluate property search criteria for desired location, size and budget

Stage 2: Searching

  • Identify suitable properties – custom private list (no MLS in Paris – compiled from agencies who do not share information)
  • Coordinate showing schedule with multiple agencies
  • Determine sound investment potentials
  • Evaluate feasibility of desired renovation work

Stage 3: Negotiation and Offer

  • Obtain market value information about chosen property
  • Set a true market value purchase price target
  • Negotiate property price with seller’s agent
  • Present your offer to be accepted over competing offers

Stage 4: Before you commit financially

  • Appoint French notaire to draft reservation contract
  • Send personal data to notaire
  • Wire 10% good faith deposit plus registration expenses to notaire’s escrow account (secured until end of cooling-off period)
  • Gather and analyze building documents (building by-laws, co-owner meeting minutes, inspection reports, diagnostics)
  • Fully comprehend preliminary contract before signing (contracts written only in french)

Stage 5: The preliminary contract

  • Attend and sign French reservation contract – in person or by proxy
  • Cooling off-period (French consumer protection laws allow you to call off the purchase and recuperate the full 10% deposit during the 10 days after having received the signed preliminary contract. Past that date, you are held liable for 10% of the purchase price)

Stage 6: Between the preliminary contract and closing

  • Complete mortgage application process (finalized 6 – 8 weeks after signature of reservation contract)
  • Transfer balance to notary’s escrow account
  • Attend annual co-owner’s meeting if held during this time
  • Introduction to relevant renovation and/or design professionals
  • Obtain homeowner’s insurance from French insurance company
  • Open French bank account for automatic debit of utilities and homeowner’s fees. Must be done in person until two weeks after closing

Stage 7: The closing

  • Walk-through entire property and purchased annexes to ensure they contain nothing but furniture that belongs to the property
  • Sign closing documents drafted in French – in person or by proxy
  • Understand accounting of pro-rata payments between seller and purchaser (building charges, property tax)
  • Receive keys and property certificate

Stage 8: After sale

  • Contact French utility companies to transfer accounts from the seller’s name to yours (electricity, gas, telephone, internet)
  • Presentation of our property management services: renovation work supervision, regular property visits … (for more information, click here)
  • Receive copy of property deed, original archived by notaire, plus any surplus paid (about 6 months after closing)