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Getting Help to Purchase Your Perfect Parisian Home

Posted by Malindi Pender on October 7, 2016

Why do you need help to purchase your perfect Parisian home?

I sat myself years ago at a café with a laptop and a pain au chocolat sifting through listings.

What could possibly go wrong?

Only years later would I understand that the French process was riddled with pitfalls for a foreign investor. Understanding the complications above and beyond the language barrier, I decided to start a real estate agency dedicated to anglophones who were buying in Paris. Let me explain why my clients are happy about that, and how I would be happy to help you.

Each Paris Living client has their own very specific preferences for the apartment itself, the location, timing, logistics and of course budget. As such, we tailor the experience entirely for the client.

That said, below are the rudimentary steps you can expect to take on the path to acquiring your Paris property. Please feel free to get in touch below for any questions or special requests you might have. We are here to make the experience the adventure it deserves to be in finding your piece of Paris.

By the way, I made this 21 point checklist for the whole process after your searching so be sure to have a look.

1. Free Consultation

We will talk about all your criteria (area, style of property, local amenities, etc), your budget, and determine which precise neighborhoods will offer you what you want. We will talk about your financing and how best to manage your future investment.


2. Proposal

We will send you a fee proposal based on your budget and the complexity of your search. This fee is usually between 2% and 3% of the purchase price, and is success-based, i.e. due only at closing.


3. Property Search Agreement

We sign a property search agreement, in English and in French, whose duration is 6 months, renewable thereafter. This agreement will indicate the fee agreed upon and the general parameters, which may evolve over time. This agreement gives us the right to represent you, and creates a buffer between you and the seller or seller’s agent.


4. Personal Search Expert

You will be assigned your own dedicated property search expert to conduct the search. You can decide with them the best ways to communicate: email, phone, text, skype, or other.


5. Rigorous/Customised House Hunt

Your property search expert will begin to dig through all available listings: online, offline, and use a professional database of listings of For-Sale-By-Owner listings from hundreds of different French sites. They will also use our vast professional network to view properties before they are listed.


6. Proxy Visit and Full Report

When a property looks good and seems to tick all the boxes, your property search expert will visit, take photos and ask the maximum questions before sending you a full report. This pre-viewing phase may take a few weeks, to really distill the search criteria to the most essential.


7. Opportunity Strategy

If you are overseas and a property strikes you as being a great opportunity, we will perform due diligence (review all necessary documents pertaining to the unit: inspection reports, homeowner’s association meeting minutes, the building’s financial statements, etc).

We can then can advise you on a negotiating strategy and make an offer on your behalf. We can likewise retract an offer on your behalf. In France the buyer is guaranteed the right to back out of a sale up to 10 days after signing the contract, without losing any deposit.


8. Client Property Visits

Usually our overseas clients plan a trip to Paris and we set up as many pertinent viewings as possible within a reasonable timeframe. If we find a winner during your trip, we would try to introduce you to a good English-speaking notaire (legal professional who handles real-estate transaction in France), and even have you sign a power-of-attorney for the signing of the contract.

I came up with a concise list of 20 questions YOU MUST ask the seller before purchasing. Paris is a very different market to others, and these pertinent questions will help you avoid buyer’s regret. Just click here to download for PDF free.

9. The offer/Negotiation

Between the end of negotiations (i.e. agreement on the price between buyer and seller) and the signing of the contract, one can expect a delay of 3 weeks on average. From the date of the signing of the contract, closing can occur within 2-3 months.

For a cash buy on an empty unit, it can be as short as a month. The notaire will go over the contract with you to be sure that you understand the French legalese. We will also do the same in coordination with the notaire, so as to be sure that no detail gets lost in translation.


10. Closing/Payment

Between the contract and closing, we will assist you in opening a local French bank account, advise you on how to transfer funds at the best rates and find a good home insurance policy.


11. Final Inspection

The eve before the closing, we will conduct a final walk-through of the apartment and cave (when applicable) to make sure no serious damage has occurred in the interim.


12. Acquisition

At the closing we will accompany you in the final stage of acquiring your new property and congratulate you on your resolve.


13. Utilities

After the closing, we will put the electric and other utilities in your name, and help you to set up your tv/phone/internet service.


14. Choosing to Rent

Should you wish to rent out your property whilst you are not using it, we can assist you in finding the safest but most lucrative way to do this.


15. Post Acquisition Service

Lastly, we remain at your service for any advice moving forward as a new French homeowner.


How can we help?

If you simply have some questions or you would like some more hands on help, I would love to have a chat.

I am a licensed bilingual Paris property broker from the states. I know the market and I can not only search for you and talk with the estate agent, but I can visit on your behalf.

Feel free to call now on 1 (888) 533-1884, send me a text message at +33 6 77 79 11 52 and I’ll get straight back to you. Or just email me at



Just hit messenger if you would like to chat with Malindi quickly about this process and how we can adapt it to your situation or anything else.




Save $20,000 or more for an average purchase [money transfer tips]
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