Do I need a Lawyer

Hello everyone,

last time I wrote it was about my search for a French property to purchase. During a recent very short trip to France I found a house in the village of Civray not far from Poitiers which an offer has been made and accepted. As I understand it the Notaire will carry out the necessary legal work such as searches etc. My question is do I also need to employ a Lawyer to advise me on the sale. The purchase seems a straightforward affair and I am unsure as to the need to engage a Lawyer. All comments and advice appreciated

whoops I meant suspensive clauses

It has been very useful reading everyone's views as we are in the same position of having found a property, made an offer, and are wondering about exactly the same thing. Do we employ a lawyer? We are now coming around to thinking that perhaps we don't as long as we have a good notaire. We also seem to have found a helpful immobilier who is answering a lot of the questions we have raised. However I wonder if anyone has used substantive clauses in the contract negotiations as so many things ie the sale of your of your existing property have a direct bearing on your new property purchase. Also has anyone come across Mandat de acheter which our immobilier is wanting us to sign?

Thank you everyone, you have given me some comfort. I am in Australia so now proceeding remotely. I have read about the Fosse Septique issues in France and whilst both intriguing and worrying, fortunately the house I am buying is on mains. Also down here we have many hurdles to overcome when buying and selling including full building reports and the adversarial legal side. The Notaire system does seem better noting the time to get things done. At least that will allow me to sell a property down here and have some money ready for the finalisation. The house is a town house and surrounded on three sides by other properties. I have inspected it and see absolutely nothing to give me concern. I am a builder down here so have some comfort in the building and the estate agent who speaks good French. I doubt I will be able to re-visit whilst this goes through so will have to leave it in the hands of the French speaking Welshman who has looked after me very well so far, but now I can ask him about bills and taxes. Now I can get serious about learning French. Thank you all again. Bill

We have just bought a place and did not have a lawyer. Apart from the usual ups and downs of a property purchase this worked fine.

It is however useful if you don't speak French to find out if the Notaire is English speaking or has someone in the office who speaks English, this makes phone calls and queries a lot easier.

Also if you are remaining in England while you purchase the property I would recommend visiting the NOTAIRE and meeting the person who is handling your transaction.

We found ours incredibly helpful and the whole experience far more positive than the English adversarial system where both sides have there own solicitor.

It is important to remember that the NOTAIRE is there to ensure that the legal particulars of the sale/contract are correct and nether represents you or the vendor. It is also important to remember that this is your first interface with FRENCH CIVIL SERVANTS and although they can seem KAFKAESQUE and the long lunch breaks, tardy response times (ours would regularly take up to 10 days to reply to an email) holidays (where your contact disappears for days at a time) are frustrating it is important to remain calm and polite at all times... if you need any more help give me a call..

and finally if your property is a country one MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND HOW SEWAGE IS DEALT WITH..then check that all the sewage certificates are in place, septic tank mains drainage. village drainage are a bit of a pigs breakfast in FRANCE

We only used a notaire, she was very thorough and made sure all of the searches and certificates (lead, asbestos and termites) were in place.

Thank Andrew, that was quick

as long as it's straight forward, no ;-)