This month the French government has announced changes to the cooling-off period after signing contracts when buying property in France. Previously, once the price is agreed and the initial contract is signed by both purchaser and vendor, the buyer then had 7 days to reflect on their decision. They could change their minds for any reason, without penalty, within this time. The government has now extended this cooling-off period to 10 days, with immediate effect.
The French property buying system is, generally speaking, a far more straight-forward and transparent affair than here in the UK. This is because both the vendor and the purchaser are contractually bound when the initial contracts are signed. In contrast to the UK the French, rather sensibly, do this at the start of the process so both vendors and buyers can make their moving plans safe in the knowledge that the other party is committed.
In France, if the buyer does want to pull out of the deal during the cooling-off period, a recorded delivery letter must be sent to the estate agent or notaire giving notice of their withdrawal before the 10-day period expires.