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Act d'Compromis

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I recently placed an offer on a property completed the compromis and paid the deposit.  I have since found out that the property was purchsed by the owner and his wife, wife deceased.  They are currently unable to locate one of the dependants, others have completed signing.  Is there a timescale to how long I have to wait before completion or can I cancel the purchase.  Having difficulty with the agency in providing details for the notaire or are these details provided to the notaire once both parties have completed the compromis.  Anyone advised pls the procedures.  Regards Charlie

Edited by CharlieO
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I thought someone with direct knowledge experience might respond, but as this has not happened, I can make the following comments.

I presume you are referring to a Compromis de Vente, which is the common contract signed when an offer is accepted.

After a quick search, the only information I found is that the maximum period of validity of a Compromis de Vente is between 3 and 4 months. SEE HERE

It could not find it stated, but I presume that the period of validity should be mentioned in the Compromis, but there is possibly a legal limit to the validity, which I suggest you check directly with your Notaire rather than with the agent, who could be reluctant to lose the sale.

For good information in English, start HERE and click on "Contract Types" when you get to the bottom.

Edited by ssomon
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I just checked the agreement we signed for our last house purchase, on 21 July 2010. It is referred to as an "acte sous seing privé", and is entitled "acte comportant VENTE CONDITIONELLE du bien", so may or may not be different in legal terms from a Compromis.

It states that the signature of the "Acte Authentique", the sale itself, will take place on 15 September 2010, that is in 8 weeks time, suggesting that the date was agreed by the parties, and probably within the legal maximum.

It also states that reaching that date without completing does not annul the contract, but it is the starting point from which either party can oblige the other to complete the sale by sending them a registered letter.

After stating the obligations of the buyer on failing to complete, it states those of the seller: He can force the completion of the sale, claiming all damages and expenses to which he is entitled. He can also receive 10% of the sale price as a penalty, which the seller must pay him without delay, and has also to return the deposit paid. 

If you have reached that stage, and do not speak French, I think you may need a lawyer.

Edited by ssomon
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Not much time allowed for editing!!

It is not clear from your OP whether you simply signed a document provided by the agent, or officially, before a Notaire.

If the latter, I suggest you go and see the Notaire.

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