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Provence & French Riviera real estate investment - The stages

A real estate investment in the Provence & French Riviera areas is an important decision, for which it is crucial to be well informed at each stage of the process.

Whether you are looking for an apartment in Cannes, a studio in Nice, a house in Antibes or a villa in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Engel & Völkers is the real estate expert of the French Riviera market you can trust to support you during your purchase of real estate.  Find your dream property in our selection of the finest real estate properties in Provence & French Riviera.

Discover the different steps to follow to make your real estate investment successful, and some information that will save you time and avoid any potential pitfalls with your purchase.

Which area should I choose for my real estate investment?

To work out the right location of your future property investment in Provence or French Riviera, several criteria must be taken into account. First, the type of property may vary if you aim to make a rental investment, or if you decide to buy a second or main home. Other criteria must also be taken into account, such as your budget, the distance from your place of work (depending on your professional activity), accessibility (road infrastructure and public transport nearby), the typology of the area (in depending on your lifestyle), the presence of nearby businesses, and closeness to schools, and so on.

The classification of the property you want to buy (studio, two-roomed apartment, family apartment, house, villa, etc.) and its characteristics (terrace, balcony, garden, modern or traditional design, etc.) will also influence your choice on the property in which to invest.

Each municipality has its specifications, which you must consider during your process of buying a property in Provence or French Riviera. In addition, the price of properties for sale will vary considerably depending on the appeal of the borough in which you plan to invest.


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The real estate agent, your best advisor for the right property investment

You may have already thought that you definitely would not use the services of an estate agent when buying a house or an apartment in Provence or French Riviera. If this is the case, you are not alone - in fact, each year 30 percent of buyers carry out real estate transactions independently or 13 percent of them use other channels (family, friends, notary, etc.).

However, if you choose to use the services of a real estate agent, in common with 70 percent of property buyers in France, you will benefit from the oversight and support of an expert in the property sector in which you are most interested.

Your real estate agent will do the research for you and will suggest properties that exactly meet your criteria, thanks to their expertise of the local market.

Real estate agents can also highlight any potential development due to be done in the residence or neighbourhood you have selected. They can manage the legal aspects concerning the acquisition of your property and will give you relevant and detailed information about the apartment where the house you want to buy: potential renovations, energy diagnoses, possible hidden defects, etc ... and generally ensure the smooth running of the price negotiation, the most important step of your property buying journey.

Making an offer for the real estate property of your dreams - Essential tips

So you've found the property of your dreams in Provence or French Riviera and you're keen to invest. The next step is to make an offer to purchase, which can be informal (without any lasting obligations) or written and, therefore, formal and binding.

You must ensure that an expiration date is set out properly. This allows you to show that you are serious in your proposal. If the seller refuses your offer, you are free to continue your search. On the other hand, if it is accepted, you will have to sign a sales agreement.


Provence & French Riviera real estate investment - The signing of the sales agreement

For the establishment of the sales agreement, the buyer and the seller can choose the same notary or each their own. If you are a buyer, you will be required to pay the notary a deposit (by transfer) corresponding to 10 percent of the purchase price of the property. There is a withdrawal period of 7 days following the signing of the sales agreement.

 Cannes
- Achat immobilier provence - Engel Volkers

The seller of a property and their obligations


The seller must perform several technical diagnoses including:

  • The energy performance diagnosis (EPD)
  • Asbestos technical diagnosis
  • The risk of exposure to lead (CREP)
  • The state of technological risks (ERNMT)
  • Radon gas diagnosis
  • The certificate issued after the inspection of the non-collective sewerage installation
  • Technical diagnosis of dry rot
  • Parasite status (termites or other insects)
  • The state of domestic gas and electricity facilities (for properties over 15 years old)


In addition, the seller is required to provide a considerable amount of information to the buyer:

  • The condominium regulations
  • The maintenance book of the building
  • The reports of the general co-ownership meetings for the last three years before the signature of the deed of sale
  • The square footage of the property according to the Carrez law
  • The documents related to the financial situation of the co-ownership and the co-owner seller (the amount of the current expenses of the provisional budget)
  • The amount of the expenses paid by the seller over the last 2 months
  • The summary sheet of the co-ownership (pending the decree that will amend its content)
  • The information notice on the rights and obligations of the co-owners
  • The multi-annual work plan

When all these documents have been assembled, the sales agreement can be signed.


Provence & French Riviera real estate investment - Choosing your mortgage

Contact several banks is the right option, they often have different conditions for granting credit. In addition, it is always relevant to compare banks to get the most attractive interest rate.

It is also recommended (by your notary or your real estate agent) to insert in the sales agreement a "suspensive condition" which can enable you to recover the 10 percent deposit paid to your notary at the signing of the compromise in the event of mortgage refusal of one or more banking institutions.

The buyer then has a minimum of 30 days to advance efforts with the banks. If the loan application is accepted, there is a mandatory period of 10 days before the bank accepts the loan offer.


Signature of the deed of sale

Your sales record is complete. The buyer receives an invitation for an appointment with his or her notary, the seller, the seller's notary and the real estate agent. The seller then gives the keys to the buyer after reading the deed, in return for payment of the full price of the property to the notary.

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Engel & Völkers
Licence Partner French Riviera

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