Monday, 30 November 2015

Monday, 30 November 2015

What can go wrong?

Last month we discussed how to successfully make an offer to buy a house in France. As promised, here are a few examples of what may go wrong.

First of all in making a “cheeky” offer, which a few clients find they cannot resist doing, in the event that they then want to make an improved offer, they will sometimes have alienated the vendors so much with their initial offer that subsequent proposals or offers are not possible. So be guided by your agent before you make that low offer.

Moving on, and assuming that your offer is accepted, and a Compromis de Vente is signed then everything normally goes to plan. But there can be problems, and here we look at a few of the most common events.

Probably the most frequent is the refusal of a lender to grant a mortgage. Too many times, lenders provide a positive “in principle” decision, and then when the full dossier is received, they turn the mortgage down. For the buyer, so long as they have had a “suspensive condition” for the loan inserted in the contract, and they are within the set time frame, the letter of refusal from the bank is sufficient for the Notaire to cancel the contract and refund your deposit. Please note, you need a refusal in writing to be lodged with the Notaire by recorded delivery (AR) by the date mentioned in the contract. If not, you are in breach of the contract and your deposit at risk.

Sometimes, it is possible that one of the parties (buyers or seller) dies between signature of the CDV and the Acte de Vente (completion). Because we have all of our contract signed via a Notaire, they always cover this eventuality. Many other agents prepare their own CDVs, and often there is no mention of what happens in such situations. Thus you have a problem, and one that can only be sorted out by going to court. For our clients, there is a clear stipulation – if a vendor dies, the survivor & or the estate of the deceased is obliged to sell; if either of the buyers dies, then on their side, they have the choice of whether to proceed with the purchase or withdraw. In this event, they would get their deposit refunded.

Another stressful situation is that involving the funds for completion. Over 95% of our clients use our dedicated team of currency experts. They always get the money to the right place and on time. But there is always one client who wants to use his own bank for the transfer, (despite the poor rates on offer), because he plays golf with the manager or they have used them for 20 odd years etc. Banks are not used to sending money Internationally. They often leave it too late, and sometimes make a mistake with the Bank details (IBAN numbers) and the money vanishes into the ether.

The best solution is to get the money sent a week or so in advance, to the Notaire, and we will check / confirm safe receipt of the funds. No stress or hassle, and a relaxed time at the étude of the Notaire. Quite the opposite, if the buyer has done their own thing and you are trying to trace the payment at literally the 11th hour …

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