When buying a house in France the purchaser has a 10-day cooling-off period which starts to run the day after receiving a formal notification with a copy of the preliminary contract. The current emergency lockdown due to the Coronavirus disturbs the correct functioning of notification systems so the law has been changed (link to text below) to take this into account and extend the deadline. If the preliminary contract is notified after the start of the lockdown (12th March), the cooling-off period will only start to run from the date the lockdown ends. The purchaser will then have 1 month + 10 days from the end of the lockdown to change their mind about the purchase.
Time period for getting a mortgage
If a purchaser needs a mortgage to finance their property purchase, the preliminary contract includes a clause making the purchase subject to the mortgage being granted. The law gives a minimum time period of 30 days to get the mortgage. The processing of mortgage applications has been heavily impacted by the current crisis. To allow for this, the deadline will only start to run from one month after the end of the lockdown. The purchaser will have 2 months from then to get their mortgage.
Here at Compass Immobilier a number of our team members are British. We love it here, adore our jobs and wish to carry on living and working here regardless of Brexit and the form it may take. Some of us have children (ranging from toddlers to late teens) so safeguarding their futures here too is essential. The advice from the British Embassy and the French Interior Ministry (the French equivalent of the Home Office, the body who deals with all of this so what they say we take seriously) is for British nationals residing in France or moving to France this year to apply for a residence permit, a 'carte de séjour'.
Firstly, I do concede that this is not the most thrilling blog title around... However, with Brexit approaching and the possibility of a 'no deal' scenario being increasingly discussed, for British people selling their French second homes forewarned is indeed forearmed...