When buying property in Brittany there are four things you never consider
Pay any part of the purchase price direct to the seller. Always insist that
the full purchase price is paid via the notary. You will be required to make a declaration in the purchase deed confirming that the price stated in the deed is the full price and you are warned that
any breach of this can lead to substantial tax penalties. You should politely ignore any suggestions from either the seller or the agent that “under the table” payments are common practice in the
area. Put very simply, it is against the law. Where both the buyer and the seller are British it is quite common for them to agree to make the sale and purchase a sterling transaction. This is
permissible and most notaries will agree to such a proposal but only on the basis that the sale price actually passes through the account of a UK solicitor who can confirm the funds have been paid
and received. Therefore paying the purchase price in sterling direct to the seller will rarely be acceptable to the notary in Brittany.
Be very wary of anyone who tries to tell
you it is not necessary for you to have independent advice from a UK lawyer. You would not listen to such a suggestion if you were buying a property in the UK so why should you in Brittany? You need
to understand the legal implications of the documentation from an independent party and not rely on a basic translation provided from the estate agent.
As for the myth that we Bretons don’t do surveys, forget it. We always appoint an architect, builder or other construction specialist to look over a property for us before we
buy. Therefore don’t feel nervous of telling your seller or the agent that you have decided to have a survey carried out.
Last but not least: NEVER sign anything you do not