If you decide that you would like to buy one of the properties we have viewed together, the first step is to put your offer in writing, regardless of whether it at the full asking price or a negotiated price.
If you would like to negotiate on the price we will be able to let you know whether we believe this will be possible, based on our knowledge of the vendor and whether they are prepared to consider offers. There is no hard and fast rule concerning negotiation in this part of France and certainly no standard decrease to be applied to the property sale price. We will always provide guidance to help secure you the property at a price that both buyer and vendor feel is fair.
Once your offer has been accepted the vendor will countersign your offer letter and we will instruct a local notaire (French notary) to handle the sale. However until the vendor has signed the first sales contract or compromis de vente, they are not bound to sell you the property. If another buyer appears with a better offer before the vendor has signed, he or she is able to accept that offer. If a buyer offers the vendor the full asking price of the property the vendor has to sell to that buyer, even if he or she receives an offer over the asking price from another client.
Therefore the safest way to secure your property is to ensure that you in a position to move quickly with your deposit and paperwork before you come to France.
A notaire is a public official acting on the behalf of the French government. He or she is tasked with drawing up contracts, checking documents and ensuring that the sale proceeds legally and without error. The notaire is also responsible for ensuring that all relevant taxes are paid to the French government. They act entirely impartially and represent the interests of both the buyer and the vendor. They are there to ensure that no costly mistakes are made and the buyer and vendor perform the purchase or sale without risk.
In general the vendor will request the notaire that they bought the property from to handle the sale. This does make sense as the notaire will have prior knowledge of the property. As a buyer you have the right to request your own notaire at no extra cost, although two notaires involved in the same sale can complicate the process. During our time working in the region we have handled sales with a number of highly professional and trustworthy notaires who speak excellent English. If you buy a property through Ascendant we would always suggest that one of our known bilingual contacts handles the sale.