Help - what happens if we pull out of a sale?

For various reasons, we are thinking of pulling out of selling our house,after signing the compromis.
What are the implications?
Has anyone had any experience of this situation?

If the cooling off period has elapsed then you could lose the deposit or be obliged to sell. Speak to your notaire quickly!

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Did you include any clauses in the compromis relating to your reasons for not wanting to go ahead, perhaps they can be invoked? As James states then you will in normal circumstances lose your deposit if you decide not to buy. Personally I think the same process should be adopted in England. Best of luck. Some French friends signed for a house in the village, paid a deposit and decided not to proceed. House was valued at 110k they lost the deposit now a young couple have bought the house ten years later for 55k

I understand losing a deposit if you decide not to buy… but the Original Poster no longer wants to SELL…

Be interesting to see how this works out… rather stressful time, I reckon.

Best of luck…

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Good spot Stella

Hi James,

What is meant to ‘be obliged to sell’ -is this interpreted -if so by whom
-the notaire?



I’d have thought by the courts if necessary

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Sadly… in my research… . I can find nothing in the government/legal sites that talk about a Seller who changes his/her mind… except that the Buyer has a cooling-off period after signing the Promis… but the Seller does NOT… :anguished: that is quite clearly stated !

A compromis de vente is a legally binding contract. Unless there are any get out clauses, the law says the sale has to go ahead. But basically the law is to give protection to both the buyer and the seller and stop them being messed around by the other party, so I guess if you and the buyer mutually agree not to proceed, nobody is going to force you to. But it’s up to the buyer because they have the law on their side. How much do they want the house? Even if they are willing to let it go, have they already incurred expenses that they would want compensating for? You may have to approach the buyer directly because I doubt a notaire would go along with asking them to break a binding contract.

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Yes, if the purchasers insist on completion and the seven day cooling period has elapsed then AFAIK you would have to compensate them to the tune of their deposit.

Perhaps @Guillaume_Barlet-Bat can clarify?

Too busy getting ready to go out.

anywhere exciting ??

Its ten days not seven, and the ten days start when the buyer receives a copy of the CDV by recorded delivery. The seller is legally obliged to sell, if the seller refuses to sell then the buyer can if they so wish take legal action to force the seller to sell. That’s the worst case scenario, other possible outcome is compensation to the buyer, Notaire and agent if ones involved. Normally its a three way split of the ten percent deposit if buyer pulls out, so logically you could be looking at paying out ten percent of the selling price in compensation to keep the property. The only way to find out is speak to the agent or Notaire, or speak to the buyer’s.

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Enjoy your evening.

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Can I ask an extra question? We have invested 80,000 to ‘improve’ the house
but it seems that much of the expenses incurred can *not *be off set
against any capital gain.

For example we have had a new roof, to improve insulation and of course to
stop rain getting in, but it seems this is seen as renovation not
amelioration. Is this interpretation of the law normally undertaken by the
notaire? Is there much flexibility?

Thanks again for all responses -always very helpful to get the different
perspectives from experienced people.

so, this is a holiday home ???

I thought the basic rule was that maintenance and repairs don’t count because they don’t add anything. So I don’t see why having new insulation put in wouldn’t count as an improvement, but mending a roof is basic maintenance. All houses have roofs and all roofs need maintaining. Well I suppose it’s an improvement if previously there was no roof there at all;-) but I think you would have to argue that one.

The Notaire should offset anything that is seen to add value to the property. If you bought the property in a derelict state then a new roof would add value. There is an appeals system if you feel the Notaire has been a bit unfair. Some of it is a bit of a grey area because the Notaire is basically a tax collector, the bulk of the fee is tax. In theory if you put in nice new expensive windows, a decent kitchen, a new roof, nice bathroom and insulate the whole property, you’ve added value, but when I spoke to a Notaire about it he said if you do it solely to add value when you sell then you should have registered as a property developer. Most French buy a home, they don’t buy it as an investment.

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As the sellers wish to pull out, the 10-day cooling-off period does not apply to them.

Options for the sellers depend on the clauses of the compromis:

  • the contract may allow a set penalty if the sellers were withdrawing but it does not prevent the buyers to also claim additional damages if justified,
  • the contract may include an obligation for the parties to carry forward their respective obligations and in that case the vendors can be forced in Court to sell to the buyers,
  • exceptionally, the vendors may have a relevant legal reason to pull out but in case of dispute about the justification, a Judge would have to issue a decision.

In many cases, the above routes will be avoided as they would be costly and cumbersome and a settlement is possible but this would need to be carefully framed in a written agreement so that none of the parties can later on file a claim in that respect.

Ultimately, the longer you wait, the more difficult the decision will become.

I hope this helps.

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Went to a local tavern with friends, I’m in Cyprus for six weeks for a holiday. Had some excellent food. Friends of friends own the place. (I checked the kitchen out!)

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