Property Purchase

By the current owners possibly - but could attract more for the next owners.

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If it’s been suggested by the Seller (possibly in an attempt to close the gap between Asking Price and Offer) … then something in this split-currency transaction is going to favour the Seller.

Whatever… I reckon it’s best to let the Notaire handle everything… and I mean… Everything.

Don’t do it. They are passing their capital gains problem on to you.

BTW, if they are willing to rip off the State and leave you with the capital gains problem when you sell then they are willing to rip you off too. Extra special attention should be paid to the condition of the property.


The Compris de Vente, the first legal paperwork that you sign at the notaire’s office has a clause that basically says that you have NOT given any money to the seller. This means that what your seller is suggesting is illegal.

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I don’t remember that.
But certainly the selling price stated in the compromis must be the actual selling price, because that is what will be used in calculating the notaire fees due from the purchaser, and any capital gains tax due from the seller. Concealing the true selling price in order to evade these taxes would be tax fraud.

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I don’t recall that either… perhaps different Notaires have their own protocols?

May be so. I signed on 7th June this year.

Personally, I run away at the 1st sight of such things. The second that suggestion was made, I’d have been turning away. I’d want no part in it, and no dealings with anyone that would suggest it. Not because I’m some kind of law abiding goodie-goodie (I mean, I have had speeding tickets) but because it sets in place a path that can be difficult to move away from, to legitimise. It’s the sort of thing that can cause problems further down the line.

So like I said to the English roofer who suggested to me he could re-roof ours for cash (something like €20k) - ‘no thanks, goodbye’


I have just been reading through a Compromis we signed in October last year - there are many references to the price being the true figure and details the required payment methods.

The practice of paying money elsewhere is expressly forbiden.


I don’t think any notaire would actually carry out this transaction, Charlie - so don’t even consider it. As Jane has explained, the consequence of such an arrangement has no advantage for you; but may be a CGT benefit for the seller (if it is a ‘maison secondaire’, subject to tax). There is no ‘saving’ for you - but a big tax liability down the track.

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There is possibly a minor saving on the equivalent of Stamp Duty but this is small compared to future capital gains tax and that the principle is just plain wrong.

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This sounds very dodgy. The seller maybe honest, and so may you be, but it seems to be avoidinng the state tax which is a substantial part of the notaire costs and is obliged to collect on behalf of the French state. If the notair is aware of the proposed transaction, he’ll still want his state bite of the action. I doubt if they’d be party to such an arrangement. All sorts of things would pop up in the future, and probably not in the too distant future either.
Also, the value of a property is used for alsorts of purposes from loans to net worth and if the tax people start sniffing around, and the seller has gone back to UK you’ll find you’re holding a can of worms.

Good news is we’ve come to a mutual agreement. In euros ! Now just everything else to organise. Thanks for all the responses.