Signing the compromis de vente today. Can’t wait to see the house

I must be a lunatic but it looks like a great deal. The property agent emailed my wife and I, on Tess’s 50th Birthday, 3 days ago, a lovely cottage and gite, for 30 plus percent less than anything else. The catch? Due to a messy divorce and just failed sale - buyer pulled out (commercial mortgage on gite refused), she has to sign by Tuesday … today! Cash only. Our agent Cindy sent loads of pics, did a video walk around …promised it was a bargain! So we’ve said yes. After signing today, we are able to fly in a week, to actually see the property. Question? Can we pull out if it is not as described? The place is 40km south of Bergerac, 15km east of Marmonde. Cheers, Mike ‘n Tess.


Welcome to the Forum Mike… I am hoping that you are just a joker :clown_face: rather than a lunatic.

Fortunately, there are Laws in place which forbid using Cash in many situations… and Property Buying is one such situation… so that is the first “clue”…

The Scam you describe certainly makes a change from the “you’ve inherited 50 million, just sign here…” sort of stuff… :laughing::money_mouth_face::japanese_goblin:

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OK. Not physical cash but someone who has to prove immediate and available funds…no mortgage required.
Other than that…not joking.

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Mike… Please take care… seriously, this sounds like one of several Scams that are on the go. You could be signing away a great deal of money with nothing, in the end, to show for it. There are Threads all over the internet which talk of the difficulty/costs of cancelling a Promise…which can be the full amount of the intended Transaction…

The fact that you have not seen the property is your own “fault” and Promising to buy sight-unseen is putting you on very dodgy ground for complaining later.

Has the Agent provided you with a Full Diagnostic of the property in question?

In my opinion, you need a Legal “get out” clause in the Promise… which enables you to withdraw/cancel without Penalty … if you do NOT approve of the Property when you finally get to see it… and/or if the Diagnostics and further investigations throw up something detrimental which you do not wish to accept.

Since the document will be in French… I hope you will take legal advice to ensure that you do NOT find yourself in a sticky situation.


Woahhh…this has to be a wind up right?

Hang on though… I know of a few properties, great deals, more than 30% off the original asking price but I need the dosh in my account by the end of the day. Where should I send my bank details?


I’m very dubious about the situation as described. Would be interesting to know the name of the Agent/Agency involved… and whether or not money is being requested by way of Deposit… and to whom such funds would be paid… :wink::thinking: A genuine Agent would not be asking someone to sign the Promise “sight unseen”.

actually, I’ve been doing some digging on the Web… and it seems that the Buyer may be able to “drop-out” without giving any reason…within a short time-frame… still looking into this as the info may be out of date.

but I still think Mike needs a Legal person to advise him… just to be on the safe side

Thank you for your replies. I am using a well known local agent who, having spoken to some local people, is well known and respected. The notaire that is sending the documents is on I am required to sent a deposit within the 10 day cooling off period - 10%, to the notaire. It all looks normal but quick. I have just found a solicitor in Blighty that specialises in French property purchase. I think she is worth a call.

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Phew… well that sounds more like it then Mike. I am relieved that you are taking Legal advice.

Please forgive us, if we seemed a little too cautious… a little too suspicious. It is simply that the sort of situation… as you have described… ends more often in tears …rather than laughter… :relaxed:

Good luck with the venture.

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Four days. Why haven’t you come over to see the property? There is no way I would buy a house without seeing it and its location personally, there are too many factors to take into consideration. There is a huge choice of property to buy in France and paying 30% less than the asking price is not unusual. You know what they say about rushing in.


Mike, I’m a few KM east of Marmande, probably in the same area, and happy if you want an independent view to go there today and see it and report back. Let me know asap.


Believe you me. I’ve been wetting myself and was up at 2 am, searching the web on advice etc. I think what worries me is that, though a notary is impartial, there seems to be no advice for the seller…is the pack correct, what type of purchase (indivision, tontine or other) and that all the information sent is all that is required and not missing something. It’s not yet 7am here so I’ve got plenty of time to find and instruct a solicitor over here…

Oh Mike… you sound so excited… and so apprehensive… deep breaths… keep calm if you can… :relaxed:

Take the pack to the Solicitor and let him/her check it over. Take your time… do not be rushed… whatever decision you make, let it be made after due consideration.

On another note… if you are married… then in my opinion… both of you are named as Purchasers … again your Legal Eagle will advise…

What reason is given for having to sign today? Is there another buyer waiting in the wings? I’ve never heard anything like this happening in rural France. If the property was unique and irrestible it wouldn’t be being offered at a discount. You really do need to see it and other alternative properties. The French housing market is so different from that in England I hope you understand the situation. Unless you are super rich and can afford to throw money away fly or drive over and see the property, if you were an American or Australian I might understand your stance but for somebody in the UK it seems like madness to me. At the very least take up Sandy’s offer and listen to what she says. As a person who knows the area her feedback might be vital.

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Hi David. Between Friday and today, there has been no time to jump on a plane. The video walk around was very good. Google maps goes past the house, we know the area from previous trips and I have spoken to the owner of a gite holiday rental company, that operates nearby…who spoke to my (potential) very near neighbour (that goes gites) who said that the property was a good place for rental. Best I can do under the circumstances…apart from running away screaming :slight_smile:

Don’t you drive? I’m being serious but perhaps you are in a position where buying a house (or two) is no big deal but I cannot see any reason for the rush. Certainly not the word of an estate agent.

Hi Sandy. The property is , La Grange, Tifuné, Caulx 47260. Google map coordinates are 44.4772051, 0.4677099. The cottage is on the left and the gite barn is set back. 2 hectares surround the property. If it is close by and no problem, I would really welcome any thoughts on the 2 buildings , the location and anything else that might be helpful. Thank you for your very kind offer. Mike Taylor

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Pre purchase surveys aren’t the norm in France but there are a few chartered surveyors kicking around who can look over a property and give you a report. It will cost about 1000€ plus travel for a full report.

Look for someone who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - a few names have cropped up in previous threads.

If you choose to do this and it is going to be after you sign the compromis get a clause suspensive put in that you can pull out if the survey shows a major defect.

If you are going top buy sight unseen I would strongly advise that you get a survey done.

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No problems, it’s about ten minutes down the road from here. Will pop up this morning and report back what I see plus, if you want, independent photos. Message me with your phone number and email.


I can understand Mike’s excitement but it’s sheer folly IMHO to think of spending thousands of euros, sight unseen, on a property over here.
Why not do as David suggests, take a flight asap to visit the property, a couple of hundred euros spent on travel now could save you a lot of heartache later.
I would be very wary of anyone offering a property so much below the ‘value’ and in so much of a rush.
It’s very good of Sandy to offer to give feedback on location etc; but you need to see the inside, photos, videos etc; don’t show all the corners that may have potential problems. Only you can get a feeling about the property and it’s location.
Your money, your life but please do take the advice that is being offered by folks here. French laws and ways of doing things are not the same as the UK, visiting on holiday is not the same as living here. Don’t be rushed into anything, regrets and bitterness may ruin your life if you do…