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Not quite sure what a word or phrase means? Find below a list of the main phrases you will come across during your search for a property in France. If you don’t find a specific word, then please email us directly and we will be delighted to send you a personal reply.

Acquéreur
Purchaser or buyer whether a single person, couple or group.
Acte de vente/Acte authentique
The final contract or deed of sale which is signed when you take ownership of the property.
Agence immobilière
Estate agent.
Attestation
The Notaire will provide you with this certificate of purchase which proves that you are the legal owners of the property.
Cadastre
This is the land registry document which outlines parcels of land and buildings.
Commune
A commune is a geographical area made up of a principal town and surrounding smaller villages and hamlets. The area will have a unique five-digit postcode.
Compromis de vente
Initial contract that is signed, which is binding on both parties.
Department
A department is made up of multiple communes and will have a two-digit department number which appears at the beginning of each of its commune postcodes.
Dossier diagnostic technique
Compulsory information relating to the condition of the property that is provided by the seller. It includes, asbestos, lead in paint, natural risks, termites, wood-boring insects and electrical tests.
Droit de passage/servitude
Right of way across a property.
Fosse septique
Septic tank.
Frais de Notaire
These are the fees that will be payable to the Notaire on top of your purchase price. You are advised to budget around 7.5% on top of the price negotiated for your property through your agent. The fees are a mixture of national and local taxes plus a remuneration for the Notaire.
Géomètre
Surveyor appointed to certify the dimensions of the property or land.
Jouissance
Right of possession which occurs on the day of completion.
Permis de construire
Planning permission.
Plus-value
Capital gain tax which is payable on the sale of a property.
Promesse d'achat/ Promesse de vente
Pre-contract which is drawn up by the agent to present your written offer to the vendor. It is not legally binding on the purchaser.
Region
A region is a large area that comprises of multiple departments.
SAFER
National agricultural land agency with pre-emptive rights to buy land.
Société Civile Immobilière (SCI)
A French registered company which can be set up in order to purchase a property.
Taxe d'habitation
Rate levied on the occupation of property.
Taxe fonciére
Local tax on the ownership of property.
Toute à l’égout
Mains drains.
Toutes Taxes Comprises
All taxes included.