Turkeys (aka immobiliers and notaires)


I am a Canadian citizen, living in Canada. My father was a French citizen and passed away, leaving my mother, brother and myself with a big 'ol house in the Aquitaine countryside.

After three years of back and forth with the notaires, we managed to finalized the inheritence.

Last July we went to an immobilier to list the house. They valued the house at 50,000 euros. When the neighbours heard this they had a fit, saying that it was much too low (it is in a state of massive disrepair, but on quite a lot of land). We had already signed a contract, and were locked in for a year, as far as we knew.

Annoyingly, and in spite of our insistence that we use a different notaire than the one that handled the inheritence, the immobilier convinced us to use the same firm.

In August a friend had some friends that were interested in checking out the house. I told them to call the immobilier. The immobilier told them that an offer had already been made on the house. Papers were signed in September.

In January, I contacted our notaire. The notaire said that the buyers were going to take six months to decide/get their mortgage.

So, I asked the immobilier to re-advertise the house. They refused, insisting that the buyer was going to come through with the cash, that the buyers had already done some work to the house, and that they owned very many properties.

As a side note, when I asked to see a copy of the advertisement they did not show it to us although they had made quite a big deal of how expensive it would be to make a good advertisement.

I guess that I don’t need to tell you that the money still hasn’t arrived. In fact, during a recent storm, the roof was damaged and the notaire has asked for our insurance policy.

Unfortunately, our Notaire accepted their offer without a deposit (probably because we signed our powers of attorney over to them). I understand that under French law I do have a right to a bit of cash to compensate for the time lost, but I haven’t the first clue how to go after it. The notaire actually ignored this question when I asked, so here I am.

Is it just me, or is this a complete gong-show?

In any case, if this is as dodgy as I think it is, is there anyone I can go to, like a professional association, that I could complain to about the conduct of the Notaire and/or immobilier?

Is there anything I can do to close the sale?

Should I just bite the bullet and get a lawyer?

Hi Danielle and Welcome to the Forum.

Oh dear… what a horror story. Personally, I would waste no more time… I would ask another Notaire to look into the whole matter immediately.

If the old Notaire has acted “illegally” there will be ways of obtaining retribution… but, as you signed authority over to him… mmmm… who knows if he has actually done anything “naughty”.

checkout the link below, it explains how a client can move forward in such a case…