Covid-19 in France
What do the new restrictions against Covid 19 in France mean?
Buying, selling or any other transfer of ownership of a property in France are rendered rather difficult with the current situation to fight the propagation of Covid-19.
Since Friday 30th October, France has entered its second lockdown (confinement) until at least 1st December. However, similarly to the new lockdown in England, the measures are not as strict as they were with the first lockdown in March 2020. But what does it mean if you are trying to sell or buy a French property?
If you have already found a property to buy and your offer has been accepted, then your purchase can go ahead. The compromis/preliminary binding contract, will be either sent to your home address for signing or you will sign it via French powers of attorney (procuration). The signing of a power of attorney depends as to what the notaire requests, sometimes a simple signature will suffice but very often the notaire will ask that your signature is witnessed by a solicitor.
For completion, the notaire will ask you to sign via a power of attorney, and one of the notaire’s clerk will sign the deed on your behalf.
The same applies if you are selling a French property and a purchaser has visited the property and made an offer, both the compromis and the final deed can be signed via a power of attorney.
However, because it takes longer for the searches to be returned, it is likely that completion of a purchase or sale of a French property will be delayed.
If you are in the first stages of buying a property and have not yet found your little piece of France, unfortunately, you will have to wait until the end of the lockdown before being able to visit properties you wish to purchase. You can indeed look online and shortlist properties that you like so that you can visit them once the lockdown is lifted.
For sellers who have not yet found a purchaser, estate agents are not allowed to show properties to prospective purchasers, which means unfortunately you will have to wait until the end of the lockdown to sell your property. However, it is worth remembering that when the lockdown finished in June in France, there was a surge of sale of French properties.
Selling or buying a property means having to deal with removal, however, this should not be a problem if you want to instruct a professional since it is not forbidden during lockdown. If you do it yourself, you will need to download and print or copy a model of attestation from the French government website where you self-certify why you are out and on the move.
Keep checking this website for any update on the situation on Covid-19 in France and Brexit, or contact us:
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