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Sale of French property - 2021


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At 4/11/21


Fiscal representation


Fiscal representative has sent the plus-value calculation to my notaire. The whole document runs to 10 pages! To me the important part is where the plus-value amount is disclosed. The contract I have with SARF (Societe Accreditee de Representation Fiscale) runs for 4 years and one month and if there is any dispute raised by the fiscal authorities SARF represent my case. Charge for this is E1500, a one off payment.


The plus-value has been calculated as follows:


Sale price of property less work done to the property during my ownership (which is shown as 15% of original cost price) less SARF fee


Cost of property when acquired plus purchase expenses (notary, agency fee).


There are also many other lines of calculations amongst which are a rebate for the number of years the property has been owned over 5 years and which shows a reduction rate of 72%. I am not going into all the detail on the form!


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At 6/11/21




The notary made contact yesterday to discuss the date for completion. I agreed 22 November. An earlier date was not possible with the buyers who wish to attend in person.


The notary had various questions, eg date chimney last swept (it's not in use), what will happen to propane tank and who will pay for its removal / cutting up.


By chance today I met one of the men who did some major decoration on one house 6 years ago and told hime we were selling. He told me he knew. How? The notary had contacted him to verify he had done work on the property. She was in possession of the decoration / work bills I had sent her a few weeks ago. I do not know whether she had contacted other businesses who have done work on the property.

   See also:     http://domainesale.weebly.com


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At 14/11/21




The notaire's office advised that the buyer had to change the completion date but they could not understand why. On Tuesday evening, 9th November, the buyer telephoned me, indicated - if I understood correctly – that he had a medical appointement on 22nd November so had to propose a change of date for completion, I decided to accommodate him, agreed the 19th November for signature, and altered all my arrangements which turned out to be easier than I anticipated. The ferry cost £15 more for a week-end crossing, hotels' bookings altered without penalty, lateral flow tests already depatched to await our arrival.


So, we were back into smooth waters until........


...a leak


Yesterday, a Saturday, I inspected the attic to see if all was well. It was not! There is a water leak from a pipe join under the water heater. A bucket is in place. So far the plumber has not responded to several 'phone calls. I suspect the leak is from a perished washer but it needs expert attention.

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  • 2 weeks later...

At 24/11/21

Sale completed on 19 November!

The leak

The plumber phoned back at 21h30 on a Sunday night, agreed to come round the next morning and by 11h00 the leak was repaired. Fault? A perished washer.


On 18 November, the day before the signing of the final acte de vente I received by email from the notaire a document entitled “Projet”. It is the draft of the acte final: it runs to 37 pages + annexes!

I read through most of it, notified the notaire of 2 minor adjustments needed. Interestingly, I thought, was the history of who had owned the property, all their names, dob, date of marriage and place, going back to the 1930s. There was much else besides, not being enumerated here.

Before the signing the buyer and I had agreed he would come to the property before the signing so I could explain how I managed various activities and he could have a good look round, ask questions...... Having had a 6 hour drive from Versailles and then an hour of talk I think he was somewhat overwhelmed by it all! However, he seemed very content.

On, then, to the notaire's office at which were present my wife and I as co-owners, the buyer representing his wife and himself, the estate agent and the notaire. The latter, over the course of an hour, went through the 37 pages of the acte de vente + some annexes and including one or 2 modifications which became necessary during the meeting. Several supporting documents needed to be signed including the declaration of plus – value, and, finally, of course, the acte itself by buyer and sellers. Keys were handed over. The notaire made clear that Taxes Foncieres are divided pro-rata between seller and buyer but Taxe Habitation is paid for the whole year by the owner of the property on 1 January. My 2021 bill arrived yesterday - approx E1000 - (and it indicated that in 2023 there would be no Taxe Habitation!)

My house insurance can only be cancelled by my sending an attestation de vente, signed by the notaire to the insurance company.

The propane gas tank will be removed / cut up within 3 months all at my expense.


Some time lines:

Date we first contacted estate agent : 8 June, 2021

Two visits to property by potential buyers between 8 June and 30 July. Not what they required.

29 June:  Dossier Technique Immobilier / diagnostic immobilier visit

21 July:   Inspection of fosses septiques

Visit on 30 July: potential buyer (lady on her own) made conditional offer, the condition being that her husband view the property no later than 16 August. We accepted the conditional offer. He visited and agreed verbally that he would buy.

3 September:  compromis de vente signed.

1 October:   contact made with SARF, ie fiscal representative, to calculate plus-value

19 November:  acte de vente signed

The sale took 23 weeks from start to finish.


See also:    http://domainesale.weebly.com


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At Saturday 27/11/21

.et encore

It's not over till the fat lady sings” - and she ain't done singin' yet!

I wrote a few days ago that I thought we were into smooth waters. Well, we're not!

Receipt of funds

The notaire, at the signing “ceremony”, said sale funds would be transferred to my bank 3 or 4 working days later. She had had my bank's RIB for over 2 weeks. On the 5th day, yesterday, I enquired whether or not the transfer had been effected. A reply from the notaire's accountant's department indicated it had not. This lady revealed that my wife had to receive her half share of the proceeds into her account and mine to my account as we were co-owners of the property.

I wondered why the notaire's office, who are the supposed experts in handling property sales whereas I am not, did not inform me that the funds needed to be split. This would not have been a great issue if we had known: my wife would not have closed her bank account.

Today I have proposed a solution: my wife gives the notaire authorisation to transfer all funds into my account. I have scanned and sent by email such authorisation. However, I suspect this will not do! My next option is to contact my wife's bank to see if it will re-open her account.


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At 1/12/21


The authorisation worked and all funds were paid to me today. Excellent!

Just have watch the exchange rate now!  A deal done yesterday was at E1 buying £0.8325 done by talking to a dealer rather than an online transaction.  The dealer advised that by talking to them one could often get a better rate.

See also:      http://domainesale.weebly.com



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Thank you for sharing your tale with us. We will not be selling for a few years but I have learnt a lot from your experiences. At a later date, when the dust has settled, I would like to ask a few specific questions so I hope you will still be active on this forum.

  Well done and Happy Christmas!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Hectorsdad!   Thank you for your comment on 7 December.   This is my first visit since then but I can look in from time to time so it may be a while before you receive an answer to any questions, or you can send a private message which will be picked up more quickly.

Exchange rates have been relatively docile or slightly against moving euors into pounds so I'm taking my time.  I've put in an alert to 2 currency firms in the hope that the euro will strengthen to E1 buying £0.84.   Today's rate between these 2 firms was close to 2 cents which can make a considerable difference when converted to GBP.   Interest rates in both France and UK are very poor so I need to make a little on the exchange.  Another option may be to book a forward rate but then a contract becomes binding, I believe, and a rate may not reach the desired figure for quite some time.   To be explored! 

All the best for 2022!



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