Often in a hurry to conclude, the buyer and seller sometimes think that the signing of the preliminary contract does not entail too much. This is not true: despite its name, this preliminary agreement forms a real «contract» that leads to important obligations for both parties. It allows them to set the conditions for future sale and highlights their agreement. Although not required by law, this document remains essential. If accessories are to be left in the property, an advantage of a separate inventory of these items in the purchase contract is that their value can be reduced by the purchase price of the property, which in turn reduces the amount of fees and taxes to be paid. The signing of the preliminary contract requires the buyer to pay an amount of approximately between 5% and 10% of the sale price. This is called a deposit. it is deducted from the price when signing the notarial deed. Purchase agreement (also called «unilateral preliminary agreement»), the owner agrees with the potential buyer (known as the beneficiary) to sell his property to him at the specified price. Therefore, it results in an exclusive «option» for a limited period of time (usually two to three months).
The duration of the option for routine purchases is agreed between the parties, usually about three months. In other cases, it may take a year or more, especially in terms of development properties. A primary precaution is to include the conditions precedent in the offer to purchase (for example.B. get a loan) and give the seller only a short time (a week or fifteen days) to give you his answer. The purchase contract may contain one or more conditional clauses, a condition precedent. Unlike the purchase contract, the preliminary contract does not need to be registered with the tax authorities. This lack of fees may seem like an advantage. However, in the event of a dispute, the parties remain bound by the purchase contract with regard to compliance with the previous conditions, except by an amicable agreement or a judicial decision, in the case of a unilateral purchase contract, the parties regain their freedom. If the option is not applied by the buyer, whether it is a purchase contract or a preliminary contract, the buyer and seller may mutually decide to add deferral clauses. These make it possible to provide for the nullity of the preliminary contract if certain events were to occur before the final sale (each of the parties takes back its freedom). A sales agreement is what can generally be understood as a purchase contract, since there is a clear bilateral obligation.
Perhaps more important is the frequency with which sellers and buyers leave unspoken what exactly should be included in the sale. The buyer is required to make a deposit of up to 10% when signing the purchase contract, although a smaller amount is quite legal. If the buyer is in default with the purchase, the deposit must be paid to the seller subject to any conditional clause in the contract. So, the golden rule in this matter is to make sure that the purchase agreement clearly states what should remain in the property, especially if you are not sure if it is a «faucet» or an «installation». We are always surprised to see how the final decision on the sale/purchase of a property possibly worth several hundred thousand euros can depend on whether the stove or carpets are included in the price or not. Once you have signed one of the two forms of contract, you are obliged to purchase the property, subject to the conditions that may be included in the contract and after the expiry of the 10-day cooling-off period. If they do not withdraw at that time, they are legally obliged to purchase the property within the option period (subject to the conditions contained in the contract). The buyer is entitled to a cooling-off period of ten days after signing the purchase contract. It is not available to the seller, who is bound by the terms of the contract. Indiscriminately referred to as an offer to purchase, a unilateral purchase agreement or simply as a price offer, this document presented by some real estate agents should be treated with caution. Its main feature is to get the buyer, not the seller, to commit. Under the contract, the owner agrees to sell to the buyer and the buyer in turn agrees to buy from the owner, subject to the conditions set out in the contract.
Buyers and sellers are free to write it themselves on paper or with standard contracts. However, the clauses contained in the contract are of great importance, the final contract contains them theoretically, it is recommended to entrust the elaboration to a professional (your notary), who has the duty to inform both parties. The cost of drawing up the preliminary contract is included in the real estate agent`s commission or in the notary fees with which the final sale must be signed. To be valid, the purchase contract must be registered with the tax office within ten days of signing. In addition, if it is granted for a period of more than 18 months, it must be carried out by means of a public document. The registration fee paid by the buyer is 125€. During this period, he is prohibited from waiving the sale or offering the property to another buyer. The prospective buyer benefits from the agreement to decide whether to buy or not. A decisive advantage! In return, he pays the seller a delivery service, which theoretically amounts to 10% of the sale price. If he decides to buy, this compensation will be deducted from the amount to be paid. However, if he renounces the purchase or does not show his acceptance within the period of the option, the owner acquires the service as compensation. Buyer of a new or old house, you sign a preliminary contract, unilateral agreement: you have a period of ten days (irreducible) to be able to reconsider your obligation (by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt).
Are you about to sign a preliminary contract? This is called a «pre-contract». The preliminary contract and the purchase contract are two contracts with different consequences for the buyer and the seller. In the preliminary contract (or «bilateral purchase agreement»), both the seller and the buyer agree to conclude the sale at a jointly determined price. Legally, the preliminary contract is the same as a sale. If one of the parties abandons the transaction, the other partisan party may compel it to do so by legal means, by additional damages. Other conditions may concern, for example, building permit, purchase of adjacent land and personal characteristics in favour of the property or to third parties through the property. A purchase contract can be prepared either by a real estate agent or by a notary. So be warned, although the option may be available for several months, you may lose the deposit after ten days if you later decide not to continue. The seller can also enforce the sale. The seller must notify you of the offer within the time limit and in the form prescribed in the offer (usually by registered letter and acknowledgment of receipt).
If he accepts the offer in writing, the sale is theoretically considered complete. On the other hand, you can perfectly retract if the seller makes you a counter-offer or if he does not answer you within the time limit. A deposit of up to 10% of the purchase price is made at the time of signing the contract. The buyer has ten days to terminate the contract without penalty. Whatever your reason, the sums you have paid must in any case be reimbursed in full. This withdrawal period begins to run from the day following the personal delivery (or the signing of the deed if it is kept by the notary) in the case of a sales contract concluded in public form or the first presentation of the registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt containing the preliminary contract, in the case of a private signature. . .