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Buying a house, owner died - what are my rights?

Posted by Selby-322314 - Created: 5 years ago
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7 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 7)

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Posted by Olivier06480 - 5 years ago

Message following the post of Nissalabella:Not exactly true when you say the deposit will be given back, end of story...In fact, if the heirs pull out, not only do they have to send the deposit back (the notary will) .... plus the same amount, as penalty.
And a compromis becomes as good as a sale only when all suspensive clauses are cleared out.Not before.

Thank you

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Posted by Olivier06480 - 5 years ago

Well well well.
Conveyancing procedure is complicated, but the law is very simple:During the compromis period (Conveyancing), if the buyer dies, then the heirs can decide to purchase or not, no costs involved if they pull out.
However, and that is your case, it is the vendor who died.
Yes, the sale has to go through, if it is a "full & valid" sale (See below)Yes, the notary has to organize the succession firstYes, it will take time.

But (The devil is in the detail), if all "suspensive conditions" have been passed (DIA, searches, your mortgage fully accepted if there is one), than the sale is considered as valid. If not... it is not yet a valid sale.
Yes, good idea to have your own notary. if you want to contact me, I can put you in otuch with one who would tell you what would be the likely issue. And if you see fit, you can hire him then.
Good luck

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Posted by Suzanne C-192641 - 5 years ago

The way I read your post it seems as though you are using the same notaire as the seller. If this is the case get your own one immediately. Notaires are supposed to be neutral and in theory you can use the same one. However, in my experience I have found that they will always act in the best interest of the seller (if he was the first one to appoint the notaire). It will not cost you any more and you will have someone on "your side".

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Posted by nissalabella - 5 years ago

A "compromis de vente" signed by the 2 parties is a real contract. In your case, the fact that the owned died before completing the sale is none of your business - I'm sorry to be so rude - but the contract needs to be fullfilled and signed by the heirs in DUE TIME. Unless it si found difficult to trace one heir - sometimes it does happen - there is no reason why everything should not be completed on time, all questions linked to the unfortunate death of the owner has nothing to do with you, and the sale should not be postponed, unless stated above.
You don't have to give ANY money to the notaire, heirs can wait, the only time you have to do it is when the deed is executed and the sale is done. Don't let these people tell you otherwise, they are wrong. And certainly don't make any improvements to a house which is not yours yet. If everything comes to the worse, and this is probably not what you want, the money paid for the compromis will be given back to you, end of the exercise.
Hope this helps,

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Posted by Cannescannes - 5 years ago

As I understand it

If the property's seller dies prior to signing, the purchaser can obtain the signature from the seller's heirs. The heirs are bound by law to comply with the undertakings of the deceased, and in case of refusal action may be brought against them to enjoin them to perform the sale.

I would suggest you take independent legal advice from an English speaking solicitor specialist in French property law or from an independent notaire.

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Posted by Earthling-217786 - 5 years ago

Yes I agree very unfortunate,always an extremely difficult time for family members when a bereavement takes place.

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Posted by Goupil-198464 - 5 years ago

How unlucky !
Do you have a fall back strategy, eg an other property in view ?
I would trust the notaire even if he is very much interested by a sale.
Ask him if the compromis is still valid and if you can get out of it.
Indeed it is the crucial question.
Ask him if it is a straight forward succession; in any doubt you are gambling on the future
Best of luck