Between the two options we will try to clarify the difference to help you to make the correct choice.
“Compromis de vente” (contract of sale) :
The “compromis” and the “promesse” are both regarded as sales agreements, where the “compromis” is regarded as the strongest. This sales agreement, sometimes called “promesse synallagmatique de vente” (bilateral sales agreement) is a contract in preparation for a final sale where the seller and buyer agree, each firmly and definitively.
The “compromis” is equivalent to a sale, where the effects will simply be delayed until completion of drafting of the deed by the notary. If the seller or buyer refuses to appear at the notary on the appointed day, the other party may go to the court. Thus, to force the undersigned to carry out and fulfil his or her commitments, to be able to proceed with the transfer of ownership.
“La Promesse de vente” (promise to sell) – Unilateral sales agreement
Is a contract where the seller agrees to sell his property for a specified price, while the buyer reserves the right to buy or not, after a certain period (option period) fixed by the parties.
This “Promesse” must be registered within 10 days at the French Tax office at a costs of roughly 72 Euros.
Either the transfer of ownership takes place smoothly.
If the seller no longer honours the signed agreement because, for example, sold the property to another. The seller will be judged to pay a compensation to the buyer agreed in the “promesse” usually 10% of the agreed sales price. Morally: this type of sales agreement has little value! A sale can not be forced in court in the same way as a “compromis” can.
If the buyer refuses or misses the option period, the “promesse” is void. The buyer can not be forced to buy the property and can withdraw from the contract as well as get back the deposit.
The costs of drafting a “compromis” or “promesse”:
No cost difference in writing between the two contacts, but my vary according to the professional who writes:
- The estate agent generally includes it in its negotiation fees.
- The notary charges a fee “fixed” (between 250 € and 300 €).