The 88 square-meter apartment is in a portion of the building that was once the carriage-house of a 17th-century “Hôtel Particulier” and was designed and decorated by our illustrious interior architect, Martine di Mattéo.
The apartment is situated on three levels:
1) a ground level living room/dining room with fully-equipped kitchen with laundry/utility area,
2) a master suite on the upper level including an arched window that spans the entire length of one wall with a separate toilet, full bathroom with claw-foot tub, shower and sink and
3) a second bedroom and bath on the lower level, all which provide its occupants with a real sense of privacy.
The main entry is on the beautiful courtyard and two large mirrored windows face the street providing complete privacy.
The apartment is being sold with all the furnishings valued at 35,000€.
It's been about four months since one of our clients made an offer on a property in Paris that was accepted, and to-date, we still don't have the "Promesse de Vente" signed — "pre-sale agreement." The fault lies in the complexities of securing the proper title and the works of the Notaire to amass all the proper documents from a variety of sources. In this case, the seller and buyer have employed two different Notaires, who share in the commissions, but who must work together to bring the one file to fruition, further complicating the transaction.
I've witnessed cases that have taken one to two weeks to achieve the same result, as well as some that have gone as long as one year. Each file is as different as the property itself and their respective parties. Often, when a signing is delayed, one or both of the parties become frustrated, lose patience and retract from the transaction. Such is entirely possible in this case, as our client wants to move-on and we can't blame him.
If one were to try to place blame, the question would be on whom? As we are the liaison between the client and the Notaire, who is in turn the liaison between us and the seller's Notaire, who is therefore the liaison with the seller and his agent, you can immediately see how complicated it is to even begin to determine the true source of the delays. It is my belief that yes, there are always those who do their jobs better than others, but ultimately, everyone wants the sale to come to fruition, earn their money and live happily ever after. No one is purposely delaying the transaction and no one person is in control.
Non-French purchasers tend to fall back on their cultural default experiences. We all know how fast and easy a transaction in the U.S. can be, but for that reason there are risks — hence the necessity for title insurance. This isn't necessary in France thanks to the massive controls over securing the title. So, while the French administration may be more challenging and time-consuming, it's a whole lot less risky and safer on the whole. Our own challenge is in bridging the cultural divide by providing a clear understanding to our non-French clients of the process and what they can expect.
Expectations can lead to disappointments, and this case, it's truer than ever. It's best to replace expectations with hopes to avoid those disappointments and be content with the outcome for what it is, not what was expected it to be. This is a philosophy I use in every situation, and a valuable lesson when going through the ardent process of a property purchase. When you enter the initial phases, be aware of the roles of each of the parties, the many pieces of the puzzle that must come together to complete the picture, before both parties can sign on the proverbial dotted line agreeing to sell a property to another party.
As a future French property purchaser, take heed of this advice so that the process of the transaction will not disappoint you.See more about the role of the Notaire by visiting the Notaires.fr site.
Special Message from the Chambre de Notaires de Paris:
Buying French Property, Pre-emption and Expropriation Rights:
Expropriation and pre-emption are complex procedures. When the owner's payment raises obstacles, it may be necessary to use the deposit system for the price of the expropriated or pre-empted property.
Where is the deposit made? Placing money on deposit means handing over a sum of money. The payment is made at any of the branches of the Caisse des Dépôts in local government finance offices and revenue offices, or at the branch at the head office of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (Deposit and Consignment Office).
In case of preemption, the consignment intervenes in two cases:
1) Disagreement on the amount fixed by the seller and referral to the expropriation judge.
The holder of the right of pre-emption must register within the period of three months from the referral to the judge, an amount equal to 15 percent of the assessment made by the Service France Domain. Otherwise, the public corporation is deemed to have waived the acquisition or exercise of the right of pre-emption (Article L 213-4-1 of the Town Planning Code). Agreement on the price (or definitively fixed by the judge) but in the absence of payment or in case of obstacle to the payment.
In this case, the owner of the right of first refusal must record the total price of the property within four months after the decision to acquire the property or the final decision of the expropriation judge. In the absence of payment or deposit within this period, the property may be disposed of freely by its owner (Article L 213-14 of the Town Planning Code).
The role of the notary in the consignment:
Whether you are an individual or represent a local community, do not hesitate to approach your notary. He will advise you and explain the procedures in their entirety. He will also try to find a solution to the blockage of the situation.
Often it is the absence of a median interlocutor that causes difficulties. Your notary is this interlocutor. He will listen to the positions of the both parties and will propose a suitable solution which will give you satisfaction.
Special Note re Notre Dame:
Château d'Issou, Yvelines, One of the Many "Little Notre Dames" in Need of Reconstruction
On April 15th, fire broke out at the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, triggering an unprecedented act of generosity on the part of the French and lovers of French heritage. The fire unfortunately revealed the fragility, but also the threat that weighs on French heritage.
Faced with this tragedy, there were more than 220,000 donors to help Notre Dame. In order to increase the momentum of solidarity that the Cathedral of Notre Dame allowed us, the authorities decided to close this fund collection and launch a new campaign called "Never Again." This national effort will feed an emergency fund to secure the most endangered sites of French heritage.
There are many "little Notre Dames" in immediate danger which will benefit from the emergency fund "Never Again." These monuments will be selected from the 2,800 projects currently supported by the Heritage Foundation. The number of sites selected will depend on the amount of funds raised.
The safeguarding of the national heritage is at the heart of the mission of the Heritage Foundation, which each year organizes nearly 3,000 collections of donations and patronage in favor of restoration projects.
P.S. For those interested in a long-term rental apartment — while looking for your own pied-à-terre, perhaps — please see our apartment listings. Looking a more permanent home? Visit our Properties for Sale site for available listings.
YOU TOO CAN WORK AND LIVE IN FRANCE
Living in France for several years, Adrian Leeds has accumulated valuable experience and information as well as developed valuable contacts. She is able to assist you as much as possible and when necessary, put you in contact with one or more of our professional associates to provide the help you need.
Consultation can be arranged in person, by phone, or email with Adrian Leeds.
Please contact us for information regarding the fees for a consultation.
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