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Buying a house-giving an offer


There are so many helpful people here so I would like to ask another question on house buying front.

When we like a house, is there an oral bargaining process here with the owner? Before involving notary, can you say your offer to the landlord and see they accept it? Or does this give us a less advantage on pricing? Normally, does the notary write and give the offer to the landlord? Does he reply orally or written? How does this part of the house buying progress?

Thank you for your answers.


It depends - sometimes you can orally get a sense of what offer someone would accept (easier if you are dealing with an owner directly than an agent), while others will simply tell you to make an offer without giving any indication.

Be aware that even oral offers could be considered binding - ask as many questions as you need to your notaire.

Apr 26, 2016 11:14

Never do anything before involving a notaris.
You have to involve a notaris sooner or later and the bill you pay will be fixed by law and based on the price you pay for the property. You can ask as many or as few questions as you like - the price will be the same.
Get a briefing from your notaris and find out how to go about haggling over the price without finding that you have committed yourself to buying. I cannot believe that anybody prices their property and expects to get the asking price without potential buyers trying to beat them down. The important thing is that you do not do or say anything which could be taken to be an offer.

Apr 26, 2016 12:24

It would be irresponsible to answer your question - you could inadvertently do the wrong thing and find yourself in a legally binding quagmire that it will cost a fortune to get out of.

You need to ask a notary, who can explain things in detail and advise on the legality of the house buying process.

Apr 26, 2016 13:45

You can make a series of low offers and keep raising the offer price until the seller accepts one - at which point it becomes binding on both parties - BUT the seller make accept an offer from someone else in the meantime or he/she may become fed up with what he/she considers to be unrealistically low offers and just raise the level at which an offer will be accepted. (There is no obligation on the seller to accept an offer even at the advertised asking price, and, indeed, if a lot of interest is shown, the effective price may indeed rise.)

Remember that if either party pulls out after an offer has become binding, the offending party has to pay 10% of the agreed price to the other as compensation.

Do your homework:
1) Talk to your notaire,
2) Find out what sort of loan you qualify for,
3) Check out the asking prices of other similar properties (your notaire can find out actual selling prices too), and understand why your favoured property may be cheaper or more expensive than the norm,
4) Look the property over carefully for things that you may have to put right or change.
5) If the property looks as if it has been altered or is of recent construction check that it conforms with its permis d'urbanisme (planning permission).
6) Be careful not to say anything to the seller or the seller's agent that could be construed as an offer unless that is what you intend to be.

Apr 26, 2016 14:28

Of course you can discuss the price orally with the owner.

Then you can make an offer in print (download a template from the internet, or maybe the agent will provide you with one), once the owner signs, the house is sold, and you are liable to pay 10% of the price right away.

Then you can involve your notaire.

Apr 27, 2016 12:55

NEOCON666's advice is wrong.

You need the advice of your notaire BEFORE you make an offer, and, although an offer in writing is obviously preferable because of the verifiable proof it provides (and an estate agent will almost certainly INSIST on a written offer), a verbal offer binds you just as much as a written one.

There is no cost to involving your notaire from the earliest possible stage in the proceedings, but there is a potential cost - 10% of the offer price AND no house to show for it - if you don't and you get the procedure wrong.

Apr 27, 2016 13:55

I'm with Becasse here re NEOCON666's advice .
'download a template from the internet'!!!
Maybe, but make sure that your notaris reads it before you actually sign.
When we bought our house the agent provided us with one and we faxed it to the notaris who insisted on a couple of significant changes before we signed it.
You pay a fixed price to a notaris so why not involve him/her on day one and save yourself potential grief...........and a load of money.

Apr 28, 2016 08:57

Are you talking about buying or renting? Buy its legally binding Renting I'm less clear you talk about landlord not owner. I'm less clear.
So if you're buying you can discuss with the sales agent what you think but when theowner say yes you have to pay a percentage and sign , if you then for what ever reason walk away they get to keep it. There is onus on people to prove they sold at a just price and no cash went under the table so not every seller wants to haggle.

Apr 28, 2016 17:02