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1. Find and research a property

Organise a survey, look at the cadastral plans (land registry), and planning permission. Know your budget and arrange “in principle” financing.

Contact Times Currency Services to discuss securing your foreign exchange rates. Don’t miss out on your dream property due to currency fluctuations. Times Currency Services can help you fix an exchange rate.

2. Place an offer

Ensure that you know what’s included in the sale. Negotiate the best deal through the immobilier (estate agent) or notaire (notary). Remember, they’re working for you.

3. Notaire performs searches (land registry rights, boundaries, and rights of way)

Research planning permissions of neighbouring properties through the local mairie (town hall).

4. Sign the ‘Compromis de Vente’ (first contract)

Ensure it includes the Dossier de Diagnostic Technique (DDT) report. Don’t forget to include conditions in the contract (e.g. financing, survey results, planning).

5. Pay the deposit in euros (usually 10%)

Contact Times Currency Services to convert your sterling (or other currency) into euro at a guaranteed best exchange rate for settling your balance. Talk to Times Currency Services about a forward contract to avoid currency fluctuations and risk paying more for the property.

6. Cooling off period of 7 days after signing the Compromis de Vente

Review the Compromis de Vente and all attached reports. If you withdraw from purchase within this period, you will not lose your deposit. You must inform the notaire by registered letter within the 7 days following signing the Compromis de Vente. After the 7 day cooling off period, the buyer is bound to buy. However, for the sale to complete, all the conditions of sale have to be met.

7. Arrange funds for the purchase

Contact Times Currency Services to arrange for all funds to be made available in the overseas bank account nominated by you (e.g. your notaire’s account).

8. Get legal and tax advice before purchase

Educate yourself on the tax and inheritance implications of property purchases in France. The notaire can also provide you with advice (e.g. on inheritance).

9. Finalise the purchase and sign the Acte Authentique /Acte de Vente (final contract)

The final contract specifies “sold as seen on day of signing” so make an appointment to view property on the day of signing. Times Currency Services will ensure your funds are in the notaire’s account on the signing date.

10. Set up mortgage and general upkeep payments

Remember you may need to transfer funds across for mortgage or general maintenance costs. You can set up a regular transfer plan with Times Currency Services to secure your rates and minimise currency risks.


  • Get a good translation of all documents, so you can make informed decisions.
  • Fix your costs by contacting a currency exchange specialist to look after all of your foreign exchange needs.


This document is for information and educational purposes only. Investing in property carries a certain amount of risk which you should research before purchasing any property. If you are unsure about the risks or procedures involved please seek independent advice.

The research contained herein has been generated by employees of World First UK Ltd, and is a true reflection of their views and opinions. We do not act as advisor or in a fiduciary capacity.