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Acte de Vente


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Im going over to sign on the dotted line on Monday, and trying to ensure everything is ready.

My only concern is that I havent had an inventory.  My French is poor and the seller doesnt speak english.  When we had a chat via an interpreter, wasnt very productive, and when she said she was leaving the fitted kitchen , but taking a favourite light fitting, we didnt progress a lot further.

The house is unfurnished, so im unsure whether she will want me to pay for something at the signing, or everything is going?

Ive mailed the immobilier, without success, (he will sort it out) and the Notaire(without reply)

Any thoughts are appreciated or am I worrying about nothing?


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My advice is to get there early and demand, from the immobiliere, a pre-signing inspection visit!

It has been known for French sellers to take everyting that isn't permanently fixed!

Like switches, sockets, taps door handles etc.

Too late after you have signed to work out a compromise for the loss of value.


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HI Sandra here, just do as Gluestick says. I know from when I signed and went round to the house after we left the notaires and the kitchen was gone as were light fittings and other stuff which was supposed to have remained. Do get a pre-inspection visit before signing. It might save problems later. And just by the way I wish you the best of luck.  Do you have someone going with you?

bon chance


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You've had excellent advice, check everything beforehand.  Remember that you, as the buyer, hold all the cards just before the Acte de Vente .... if you say you aren't signing because something that was agreed has now been removed, then I guarantee that the seller and agent will be falling over themselves to rectify it.  Make sure that you have a good look around the house before going to the notaire!!

Good luck, and congratulations!  Hope it all goes well on Monday.

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[quote user="nectarine"]

Make sure that you have a good look around the house before going to the notaire!!


Very good point because whatever is in the house at the time you sign is legally yours. So the seller can't come back after and demand something they have left behind. Likewise if they leave any rubbish its yours. I know of one couple who needed two skips to clear the house after they had signed and there have been people on this forum in the past who have found even more rubbish. ALWAYS see the house as close to the time you sign as you can, we saw ours about two hours before hand. It's quite common to pay for any agreed fixtures via the agent afterwards but make sure you get a receipt. We bought all the light fittings, when the owner turned up three weeks later we showed him the receipt and that's the last we heard of the matter.

As you have said, if there are things missing from the contract (its read to you before you sign) then stop the proceedings till it is changed. We did this and a few others I know have done the same. They sort it out immediately.

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signed up today with no major hiccups, save for the aged notaire needing to check again, having 1st thought the money hadnt arrived....

as for the house, looks fine, missing the loo paper holders......the soad dish holders and the odd light fitting.

she left the kitchen...phew

how i just need furniture



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Well done and I hope you enjoy your new house for many years to come.

As WB said some previous owners do come back and try to get things although in our case the chap did ask, wanted to harvest his carrots would you believe. On things like that and depending where the old owners and/or their family live I found it best to let them know that just because you are English your not stupid but on this occasion you don't mind.

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Things that could still disappear if the house is left empty: garden ornaments, ornamental rocks, trellis work, mesh fencing. Once you are seen to occupy the place then there is not likely to be any trouble again.

This is the voice of experience though I was never sure whether the culprits were the original owners or the pack-rat neighbours.

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Looks like you people had some bad experiences. Just to show

it’s not always like that I thought I would let you know the outcome of our


We signed the papers after having a look at the property the

week before to make sure it had been cleaned out and the rubbish removed. On

the day of the signing the French family (all 10 of them) invited us to dinner

and apologised for not cleaning out the barn and asked if we would accept a

load of good quality wood and floor tiles if they could leave it as is, which

we accepted. We even found a stash of 40 bottles of vintage wine which they had

missed. Since then the family have kept in touch and we get an occasional visit

to see what we have done with the place.

Now that rogue of a Notaire we used is a different matter! We

complained to the Notaire Association and eventually got him struck off for unprofessional


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[quote user="woolybanana"]Jay, just a thought, is it possible to share with us your notaires naughtinesses? Both out of interest and as a warning to other Brits.[/quote]

The Notaire we used was very slow in response to both the

French family and ourselves  requesting

an early completion date. When pushed he had us all go in and sign the papers

and we were given the keys. Three months later we did not have any documentation

to say we owned the property. When I spoke to the French family they said the

matter was not finalised and they had not received any monies. Frequent visits

to the Notaire’s office revealed he had not completed the transaction and there

was a dispute with a member of the family (the previous owners bit on the side

and their 13 year old daughter). A judge in Paris became involved (acting on

behalf of the minor). After 3 years

we still had no paperwork, the family did not have the money  and I needed a loan from the bank to renovate

part of the property as a Gite. The loan was delayed as the Notaire could not

sign the paperwork  since the property

was effectively still not ours.

I contacted the Notaire’s Association with a complained and

asked for compensation for loss of business. He was investigated and found to

be somewhat lacking. I didn’t get any compensation but we got completion, we

got the loan and the Notaire was fired. Not a bad result.

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