If you want to sell your house in France and you find buyers who say they are interested, you logically start with negotiations. At some point the price will be agreed upon and an appointment has to be made for signing a compromis de vente (preliminary deed). By the way, this sales contract is anything but preliminary, because once it is signed and the 10 obligatory days of reflection time for the buyer are over, both parties are bound to this contract.
Anyway, before a sales contract can be signed, a few months usually pass. As a seller, if you want more certainty that your buyers will stand by their offer, you can ask them to sign an ‘offre d’achat‘. This is an official offer at a certain price, which the buyer cannot easily get out of. It is a means of putting some pressure on the seller. Such an offre d’achat is quite simple. Let me give you a model of such a written purchase offer, right here:
[Nom et Prénom acquéreurs]
[Code Postal, Ville] [Vendeur ou mandataire]
[Code Postal Ville]
[Date du jour]Proposition d’offre d’achat pour le bien à l’adresse :
[adresse et référence du bien]
Lettre recommandée avec accusé réception
À la date du [date], nous, soussigné(e)s Monsieur [nom, prénom, adresse, date et lieu de naissance] et Madame [nom, prénom, adresse, date et lieu de naissance], dénommés le(s) promettant(s), nous engageons de façon ferme et irrévocable à acheter le bien suivant :
(Un appartement/une maison/autre), situé(e) au [adresse complète] avec une surface habitable de [xxx] m². Le prix demandé par le vendeur est de [xxx] euros.
Nous, le(s) promettant(s), faisons la présente offre d’achat au prix de [xxx] euros. Si cette offre est acceptée, le montant sera payé intégralement le jour de la signature de l’acte authentique.
[Cet achat se fera sous condition de l’obtention d’un prêt bancaire d’au moins [xxx] euros.]*
Sans acceptation formelle de la présente offre d’achat, celle-ci s’éteindra le [date limite de réponse] à minuit. L’acceptation du vendeur pourra être formulée en forme écrite ou au(x) domicile(s) du (des) promettant(s) ou par courriel, envoyé [à l’adresse suivante/aux adresses suivantes] : [adresse(s) mail promettant(s)].
[Date et signature de tous les acheteurs, précédées de la mention manuscrite ” Bon pour achat “]
Click on the image to download this form
I give this ‘offre d’achat’ in French, as I assume the transaction will take place in France. For an English version, look at the bottom of this page.
Click on the link above for a downloadable form that you may be able to use. Incidentally, this is a very simple version. The buyer may want to include all kinds of conditions in his offre d’achat, such as a condition that he needs to obtain a loan, that there is no passage rights, that the municipality has no building plans, that no asbestos is found or that certain works are carried out without which the sale will not go through. In principle, one can include anything one wants in an offre d’achat. Although, of course, it must remain reasonable in relation to the price asked. You can hardly put in an low offer for a ruin and then ask for a complete renovation.
Incidentally, if we look very realistically, in real life almost every contract when selling or buying a house in France can turn out to be less than solid. As a seller, you can hardly get out of a sales promise, because your house is, as it were, the collateral for your word. But an unwilling buyer can – even after singing an offre d’achat just do nothing and delay things, let deadlines pass and end up buying something else. As long as there is no collateral – say 10% of the purchase price in a notary’s escrow account – the seller may be left empty-handed. Anyhow, what can you do as a seller? Are you going to start a lawsuit to force someone to buy your house after all? I don’t think so. Anyway, this offre d’achat gives you a little bit more leverage, as rock-solid proof that a serious offer has been made by an identifiable person.
Good luck to you all!
—— English version – for reference only! ——-[Name and first name of purchasers]
Dear Sir or Madam
On the date of [date], we, the undersigned Mr. [name, first name, address, date and place of birth] and Mrs. [name, first name, address, date and place of birth], hereinafter referred to as the promisor(s), give a firm and irrevocable undertaking to purchase the following property :
(An apartment/house/other), located at [full address] with a living area of [xxx] m². The asking price of the seller is [xxx] euros.
We, the promisor(s), make this offer to purchase at a price of [xxx] euros. If this offer is accepted, the amount will be paid in full on the day of the signing of the deed.
[This purchase is subject to the condition that a bank loan of at least [xxx] euros is obtained]*.
Without formal acceptance of this offer to purchase, it will lapse on [deadline for reply] at midnight. The seller’s acceptance may be made in writing or at the address(es) of the promisor(s) or by e-mail, sent to [the following address(es)]: [promisor e-mail address(es)].
[Date and signature of all buyers, preceded by the handwritten mention “Good for purchase”].[Your Signature(s)]