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THE SALES PROCESS IN FRANCE

Quality properties from the Mont Ventoux to the Bay of Saint Tropez

HOW TO SELL A PROPERTY IN FRANCE

The profession of estate agents is regulated by Law 70-9 of the 2nd January 1970 (the Hoguet law) and its associated decree dated 20th July 1972, which establishes various legal requirements.

The estate agent must fulfil several obligations, including:

  • Taking out professional liability insurance.
  • Holding a professional card, which must be issued by the commissioner and renewed each year.
  • Having a financial guarantee from a bank or financial organisation (Article 17 of the decree of 20th July 1972).
  • Holding a written mandate authorising them to negotiate or enter into contracts on behalf of the owner.

In addition to these obligations, the estate agent is obliged to display a certain number of legal documents in order to carry out their business: their professional card number, the amount of their professional guarantee as well as the name and address of the organisation, the name of the credit organisation and the account number where the funds must be paid.

A sales mandate is the legal mandate to the estate agent on the part of the property owner, as explained below.

PURCHASING A PROPERTY IN FRANCE

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ESTATE AGENT MANDATE

A written and signed mandate between the estate agency and their client(s) is obligatory. In the absence of such a mandate, any transaction is null and void.

The purpose of this mandate is to indicate both the object of the transaction and the amount of remuneration or commission that will be received.

Each mandate is recorded (numbered) and entered in a register provided for this purpose.

A mandate is generally valid for three months. There are two forms of mandate: a simple mandate and an exclusive mandate.

EXCLUSIVE MANDATE

An exclusive mandate entrusts the sale to one estate agent who holds exclusivity. In this case, the client cannot directly negotiate with a third party.

Janssens Immobilier also offers a confidential sales policy, which is based on our expertise in the region and our international network.

Each property and each client has its own history and context, so the process of finding a buyer and selling the property must adapt to this context.

SIMPLE MANDATE

A simple mandate allows the client to entrust the sale to different professionals and allows the client, if they wish, to proceed in the search for a buyer by themselves.

THE CHOICE OF LEGAL STRUCTURE

Choosing a legal structure for your real estate investment in France depends on many factors such as the number of investors, their families ties, the purpose of the investment or stille the investor's country of tax residence.

Acquisition in own name

  • Simple but flexible investment approach that is universally understood.

Warning: If jointly owned, that decisions must be unanimous is sometimes a source of conflict.

The Société Civile Immobilière - SCI

  • Objective: To facilitate managing a real estate asset owned by several people (decision making)

  • A fiscally-transparent company for income tax purposes, which can opt to be subject to corporate tax

  • Suitable for private use of the property (no benefit in kind)

  • The SCI can rent unfurnished properties, but it is not suited to furnished rentals

Warning: The fiscal transparency of this company is not always recognized abroad.

The family LLC

  • Commercial company formed between members of the same family

  • Fiscally transparent for income tax purposes

  • Suitable for furnished rentals

Warning: The fiscal transparency of this company is not always recognized abroad.

Foreign companies

  • Often assimilated to fiscally-opaque commercial companies (corporate tax)

  • Numerous reporting obligations in France

Warning: If private use of the property: declaration of a benefit in kind (rent)

LOCAL TAXES

In France, there are essentially 2 local taxes : Img

INCOME TAX IN FRANCE

In France, income tax is based on the calendar year : you must declare income received between January 1st and December 31st of each year.

The tax return must be filed at the end of May/June of the following year (deadlines vary according to place of residence).

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