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The process of buying a new property in France from The Best 4 You

Sale in VEFA? What does that mean? Do I have to pay everything despite the fact that the property is not yet built? And if the builder does not go through with the project, what to do? 

Common sense questions, The Best For You explains.

The VEFA is the sale in future state of completion (in other words, the sale on plan), it is called Loi Breyne in Belgium. On the day of the sale, the buyer becomes the owner of the land and the constructions already carried out. Future works become his property as and when they are executed. (In return, the buyer is required to pay the price as the work progresses). In addition to reduced notary fees (see our article on the costs of acquiring a new second home in France: https://thebest4you.be/frais-dacquisition-seconde-residence-en-france).

This operation is regulated by law, in order to protect the buyer who commits himself even though the property remains to be built.

How does the process work?

The reservation contract:

It all starts with the reservation contract for a VEFA, It is a preliminary contract. This makes it possible to block the chosen lot and the price (in order to avoid any future increase), the execution time of the work and the quality of construction (a specification is mandatory in annex) by submitting a guarantee on a third-party account of the notary (5% of the sale price if the sale contract is signed within 1 year, 2% of the sale price if this contract is signed within 1 to 2 years). You have 10 days of withdrawal without any reasons (and you get your guarantee back). Pass this time, the process continues. No other sum may be demanded from the buyer, or even accepted before the signing of the final sales contract.

So that the project can be recorded in front of a notary, it must benefit from a financial guarantee of completion, the promoter provides this guarantee, the purchaser is assured that the work will be completed and that the property will be delivered to him. . This guarantee is given by a bank which undertakes in the event of failure of the seller to provide the funds necessary for the completion of the building.

The final contract:

A few months after signing the reservation contract, the purchaser receives the draft of the final sales contract. This document must reach him at least one month before the date of signature of the authentic instrument, accompanied by the annexes.

If both parties agree, the sale is concluded during the authentic deed.

Do I have to pay everything at once?

No, the VEFA protects the purchaser by a schedule strictly framed by law. The purchaser pays the price of the property he buys in several installments as the work progresses. Payments, including the security deposit, may not exceed in total:

35% of the price on completion of the foundations, verified by an architect;
70% when the water is put out, that is to say once the shell is completed (exterior walls completed, roofing installed, terraces completed);
95% upon completion of the work. The elements essential for the use of the accommodation must be installed;
the balance, ie the remaining 5%, is payable when the premises are made available to the purchaser. However, it may be recorded in the event of a dispute as to compliance with the forecasts of the contract.

Reception of the works:

The reception of a new good in France is made between the seller and the various contractors. This step is essential because the legal guarantees start from the reception report. The purchaser will therefore have every interest in requesting a copy of this document in order to take cognizance of the various reservations that the promoter has made upon receipt.

The delivery :

The delivery of the new lot consists of handing over the keys to the purchaser. It is essential to carry out a careful inspection of the property on that day and to record in writing the finishes remaining to be carried out and the various conformity defects (the accommodation is different from that ordered: a bathtub is missing, the carpet replaces the planned tiling, etc.) and construction defects (the property is compliant, but shows poor workmanship). If certain anomalies escaped the purchaser on the day of delivery, he still has one month to notify them by registered letter to the seller.

Guarantees :

Guarantee of perfect completion: It is due by the contractor to the promoter for a period of one year from receipt. In practice, all the problems that the purchaser will report to the seller will then be notified to the contractor who will have to repair them.

Biennial guarantee: It is a guarantee of good functioning of the equipment. It makes it possible to require for two years the repair or replacement of all defective equipment which is not an integral part of the construction (intercom, valves, water heater, etc.).

Sound insulation guarantee: It allows the purchaser to obtain, for a period of one year from taking possession of the premises, that the promoter carries out the repairs and corrections necessary to meet the acoustic and phonic requirements. provided for by regulations.

Ten-year guarantee: It guarantees for ten years, from the acceptance of the works, all damage which compromises the solidity of the structure or which make it unsuitable for habitation (lack of waterproofing of the roof, defect affecting the foundations , etc).

What recourse in the event of a lack of conformity or a construction defect?

Deposit of the balance for lack of conformity:

Upon delivery of the goods, the seller may demand payment of the balance of the sale price (5%). In the event of non-compliance with the contract of sale, the purchaser may deposit this amount by paying it into a special account at the Caisse des Dépôts or at the notary who drew up the deed until all the changes have been made. .

Price reduction or repair for poor workmanship:

If the seller does not carry out the repairs, the buyer has thirteen months after taking possession of the premises to take legal action in order to obtain damages, as well as a reduction in the price (or even the cancellation of the sale if the defects are important).

We remind you that The Best For You remains by your side even after the delivery of the good! A question ? Do not hesitate to contact us.

More info on this process: notary.fr