Friday, 2 February 2007

France Update....

I've just realised that I haven't updated my blog on the house sale, so here goes....

We had a good time, last weekend, staying with our friends Gay & Dave in their gorgeous house which is only 5 minutes drive from our old place. The ferry crossing over was awful - not because of rough seas but because we had sleeper seats and neglected to take on board any blankets or pillows. Nick didn't think we would need them, as ferries tend to be quite hot. They are, but not at 4am! Add to that the fact that we were sleeping (!) near the refreshments area in the sleeper lounge, and every half hour the refrigerators kicked in.... and the lights weren't dimmed enough.....

Anyway, I digress. On the Monday we sorted out a few bits and pieces, did a little shopping, picked up the last of our junk, I mean belongings, and went to the Estate Agent to sign the Compromis de Vente. The buyers had signed their part of it on the 18th January, so it was backdated to then. As there is a 7 day cooling off period, this means that there is no way they can back out now without losing their 10% deposit on the property (hmm, and also means WE can't back out without owing the same amount to them....!) so it's now all systems go and the various land searches are probably under way even as I type this.

Suffice it to say that the bubbly was flowing aplenty when we got back to our friends' house that night!

PS. I should add at this point that in France there are two contracts to sign. The Compromis de Vente is the first one, where the offer is accepted formally. As I said above, there is a cooling off period etc etc, and the buyers hand over a cheque to the Estate Agent for 10% of the purchase price which is held until the Acte is signed. Once all the land searches and "stuff" are sorted out (too boring to explain here), you then go to a Notaire (solicitor) and sign the "Acte de Vente" which is the final contract of sale and the keys get handed over with money going the other way. It can be a long winded process, particularly if any specific clauses are put in the Compromis - for example, you can stipulate that you will only purchase the property if it is possible to planning permission for something, so the time delay between Compromis and Acte is usually a minimum of 2 months, and can be anything up to 2 years (or more maybe!). It is usual, however, to stipulate a "no later than" date - we have the 18th April as our "no later than" date....

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