May 2014

By Sylvia Edwards Davis, Property & Living Editor

©exyne via Fotolia

What gives perfectly motivated buyers reason to give up on their plans to buy a house in France at the eleventh hour? We spoke to our experienced property team and gathered data from clients to see what are the main reasons to call off the deal. Here’s what we found:

  • Cold feet: people can become overly enthusiastic while in France with the estate agent visiting great properties in the sun. Some people get carried away and once back home they realise that they are not ready to commit yet.
  • Overstreched: They cannot get a mortgage or their mortgage application falls through.
  • A break in the chain: Their sale in the UK (or elsewhere) falls through and therefore they don’t have the money to buy in France (this is both for vendors and buyers).
  • Nasty surprise: They discover something about the property through paperwork and notaire work that makes them change their minds (for instance discovering that there is no planning permission for a pool that has been built.
  • News and the economy: The media play a big role in the way some people see their French purchase: every brainwave from the government can result in a sale falling through (ie: new law or tax about property).
  • Life happens: death/illness in a family, divorce, work problems…. (this applies both for vendors and buyers).
  • The currency trap: they agreed on a price in € but suddenly the £ takes a dip.
  • Slippery seller: The vendors change their minds for no apparent reason (they were fine having the house for sale until the distant possibility suddenly becomes a concrete reality).Did you find this article useful? Get monthly property news and updates free via email with our French Property Tips newsletter.
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