buying  at auction


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You are interested by a property that will be sold at auction ?


You do not where to start ?

You do not how to bid ?

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There is no single, comprehensive source of information about forthcoming auctions and so you will need to use various websites such as or avoventes

📰Auctions are also advertised in the legal columns of the national and regional press.The law also requires that notice of an auction be posted at the property itself and you will also find notices concerning auctions on the notice boards outside the local court (Tribunal Judiciaire).

You are not allowed to bid in person : you have to instruct a lawyer (avocat), who will bid for you.

All auctions are open to the public but you do not have to attend in person in order to bid Bids by telephone are not allowed.

The lawyer bidding on your behalf has to be a member of the local bar of the court where the auction takes place. Please note, however, that we can assist you in auctions in any part of France. We are able to bid before certain courts and can instruct local colleagues in all other cases.

You have to instruct a lawyer, and give them as much information as you already have. The lawyer then assists you to obtain all further information necessary and to organise your bid.

Instructing a lawyer, providing your personal information and entering into the fee agreement with the lawyer mentioned below can all be managed at a distance and electronically. The only document of which the original must be in the hands of the lawyer before the auction is the deposit cheque referred to below.

The lawyer bidding on your behalf has to be a member of the local bar of the court where the auction takes place.

Two important documents are always drafted before the sale : the « cahier des conditions de la vente« , which contains the auction particulars and the « procès-verbal descriptif« , which is a descriptive report of the property prepared by a bailiff prior to the sale. Both documents are available for consultation at the court office.

The lawyer acting for the vendor (the term vendor is used in the present document to describe the party, which may be a bank for instance, who is forcing the sale of the property by auction) prepares a legal pack containing the « cahier des conditions de la vente » and other information.

The pack includes the technical diagnosis file which includes information relating to : asbestos,

  • risk of exposure to lead,

  • the presence of termites,

  • natural and technological risks,

  • energy performance,

  • gas installations,

  • electrical installations and

  • individual sewerage systems (including septic tanks).

Most properties are sold vacant. If not it is mentionned as  » occupé » i.e. occupied.

In some courts the viewing date is mentioned in the advertisement.

If you did not find this information I can arrange a viewing for you.

If you have obtained information as to viewing times you do not have to pre-register your intention to view – you can simply attend at the time mentioned.

Nonetheless, it is usually better to give notice that you will attend, for purely practical reasons.

Viewing is not mandatory, so that you are perfectly able to bid even if you have not personally seen the property.

The auctions are never cancelled since a number of properties lots are sold on the same day.

The judge starts by announcing the name of the case and asks the vendor’s lawyer to state the amount of the vendor’s fees.

The auction ends when 90 seconds pass after the latest bid : you are then the successful bidder!

not personally seen the property.

If you are the successful bidder at the auction you will have to pay the vendor’s fees, which are often fairly substantial because they will include all the various legal costs of pursuing the forced sale We will indicate the amount of these prior to the auction.

As to our fees, I indicate the amount at the outset and enter into a fee engagement (compulsory in France for all legal work). These fees include all legal and administrative work until you obtain title to the property.

There are no court fees in France at property auctions but there are some fixed costs split between the lawyers for the vendor and the purchaser.

There are no notaire’s fees either, since the judgment is the deed of sale.

There is also stamp duty at the rate of approximately 6%.

Property auctions take place before the local court where the property is situated (Tribunal Judiciaire).

There are 164 « Tribunaux Judiciaires » in France.

If you want to find yours it’s here

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