Stalled sale of French house, help!

I have a problem with my notaire, I sold my house (fear not, only because I purchased another!) in France in March 2019 , because my wife was a joint owner and I could not find her will, I had to get involved in the French inheritance system (I have three children) which slowed things down, and we were ready to sign in October 2019, well a week before the signing I finally found her will, and had to go through an ‘assertation’ process involving a uk notarie to prove it was genuine, this was done in late November. And here I am, today, having no communcation from the notaire for months (refuses to answer my emails), with the buyer likely to drop out at any time and with the agent just apologising but not getting anywhere either. Any suggestions how to proceed? thanks, Sam

Pick up the phone! Notaires are notorious for not answering emails so start ‘phoning. Daily if need be until the receptionist gets so fed up of you she/he will force the notaire to the phone!


Thanks, excellent advice for those who can actually communcate in the spoken language and something I would love to do, but my conversational French is poor and I certainly do not feel confident enough on the phone to do this! Reassuring to know though that its not just my emails that are being ignored. Sam

Do you actually ask for a “receipt” when you send your email??

Are you sure the Notaire has been receiving your emails ??

It seems quite common in France for emails to be ignored, so don’t take it personally. Do you have someone who could phone for you? If not it really might be worth paying one of the helping hands type people for an hour or so to harass on your behalf?


Hi stella, thank you for your reply, I have had some emails and responses so the email address is fine, I had to appoint a notarie in the UK, and after initial communications were responded to, they too had no replies! I have the sales agent whose office is 100 yards from their office, and she has visited them on my behalf more than once, her last comment was that she was embarassed that they were taking so long! regards, Sam

Hi Jame, don’t think thats financially viable if getting a representative to phone frequently, as you suggested initially, I do not think a couple of phone calls is going to make the difference. What I need is an edge, a persuader (big hammer?). Sam

Sorry, typo, Jane!

Wouldn’t 100€ or 200€ be worth it it that could actually find out what the problem is - or if there even is one - and possibly unblock sale?

I’m not sure there is a big hammer that would work quickly enough if buyer is on point of dropping out.

Hi Jane, well I have given it some thought and will try this, as you say it will at least reveal why there is a delay and what can be done about it to speed (ha ha, relatively speaking) things up. thanks! Sam

Well let’s hope they have success on first phone call and it turns out that notaire was working from home and lost his laptop but will now get right on to it.

Might it be an idea to just go to the notaries office with a friend that speaks French, and try to sort it out on the spot?

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Hi, ideally yes, but I am not in France and sadly, have no friends that can speak fluently enough to be of assistance. Thankyou

Maybe there’s someone here who’d be willing to go rattle some cages down at the notaries office? Where is your notary exactly? #daretoask

I don’t mind giving them a ring in your name, if you like.

Hello, is there a service i could join, to offer interpretation and translation ? I don’t have qualifications, but my language skills have often come in handy on the spot

Without qualifications getting jobs in France is very hard - near impossible.

My advisor at the CMA advised me to offer interpreting and cours d’anglais on boncoin and small ads in the supermarket. and charge 35 eur /hour. What is your opinion ?
I only saw one other supermarket ad in Leclerc in an area that supposedly has many British residents. The lady was apparently a qualified teacher with 15 years experience. It didn’t encourage me to put up an ad on the same board. Does ‘native speaker’ go further ?
Do you know where I should look to take french qualifications in the subjects I enjoy ?
Thank you

There’s a one woman set up in the town called Teach time. I asked how she was doing, she advised me to go to the larger centres such as CAREL in Royan. I feel tired to make the journey , . I saw O2 agency advertising for garde d’enfants offering eveil en anglais. They didn’t reply to my application.

If you want to go it alone then set yourself up properly, think through a business plan, work out the tax stuff etc etc. You can use the CESU scheme for being paid.

If you want to be employed then look at local adult education schools in your area - GRETA.