The Buying Process in France


Find a property

Once you have found the property you want and feel comfortable to make an offer, we will negotiate with the seller on your behalf

Offer accepted

Once the offer is accepted you can begin to celebrate!

Sign compromis de vente

This needs to be signed by all purchasers and vendors, and sets out details of the purchasers, vendors, property and plans, price, results of searches and any “clause suspensives” (provisional conditions) such as a mortgage, which protect both the buyer and seller.

Receive ten-day cooling off period

Once we have the signed compromis back from both parties we will give the contract to the Notaire who will then check the contract and write to the purchasers issuing you a 10-day cooling off period. At the end of this 10-day period the deposit is due.

Pay deposit

10% of the purchase price is payable once the ten-day cooling off period has finished – this should generally be done by bank transfer. Please see a link to IFX - our foreign exchange partner :

Ensure mortgage is in place

This needs to be done within a certain timeframe, which is set out in the compromis de vente. Please see a link to BNP Paribas - our mortgage partner ;

Notaire carries out searches

Notaire checks all records and details relating to the property and will obtain the relevant planning searches, outline planning permission (where applicable) and a range of other enquiries with the local authorities. This usually takes around 2-3 months.


A rough completion date is detailed in the compromis de vente, and a firm date will be confirmed nearer the time once all documentation and searches have been carried out

Transfer of monies

Once a completion date has been fixed, the buyer must ensure all monies are transferred on time. The notaire will send out confirmation of the final balance and when the money is required for.

Signing the final act

Signing of the final act can either be done in person at the notaire’s office or can be done by power of attorney. This means you sign some power of attorney paperwork beforehand and send it back, and this allows the purchase to go ahead without you physically needing to be there. One of our agents will always be present at the signing to ensure it all runs smoothly

Get the keys

Once everything has been signed and monies successfully transferred, you can get your keys! If you have completed by power of attorney, we will safeguard your keys and any related paperwork at our office until you are able to come across.

Enjoy your new property!


  Tel: 00 33 (0)5 45 30 35 31


  11 Place d'Armes, 16700 RUFFEC

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Compagnie Immobiliere Charentaise (CIC) was established in 1988, and has helped over 1200 clients buy property in France. CIC is a French and British co-owned company dealing with clients from all over the world. We offer properties across the Charente, into the Deux Sevres and the Vienne.....more