Are deposits returnable..?

Hi all. We are looking to buy for the first time in France (in the Alps) and trying to get our heads round how things work.
We have found a house we like but haven’t sold ours in the UK yet. We are happy to pay the full asking price and it has been suggested we pay a 5% deposit with an agreement that we complete within 9 months. The agent has said that if we didn’t manage to sell ours within this timescale that we would get the deposit back.
Thats not normally how deposits work in the UK - so is this normal in France…?
Thanks for your help. M

If you make it a condition of the sale then yes… along with any other such conditions (like agreement on a mortgage) but they must be outlined and set in stone at the first signing.

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Has this house been on the market a long time? As if I were selling I wouldn’t want to wait nine months for my money unless there was a good reason (like having had the hosue on the market for ages). Do ask a few questions…

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Yes it has - 2 years. Its a very large old farmhouse with quite a bit of work needing doing. But suits us.

That makes sense then…a bird in hand that’s worth waiting for!