When it comes to buying a French home there are a host of reasons why you need to find a great surveyor in France.


It’s a big decision to purchase a home in a foreign country. Whether you are buying a home to live in permanently or looking for a bolthole to enjoy on leisure and/or business trips to this wonderful country, the decision to hire a surveyor is going to be one of the most sensible ones you make on your property acquisition journey.


How to find a surveyor that’s up to scratch is a different matter, however. So, let us guide your process with our top tips for finding the best building surveyors in France.

Why a Surveyor?

Unlike here in the UK, carrying out a full building survey is neither required nor traditional in France. Signing a preliminary contract with a “subject to survey clause” carries little muster among French sellers and notaires. As such, if you want to make sure the property you’re purchasing doesn’t have any nasty surprises lurking within, getting a survey done prior to autographing any agreements is your best bet.


There are a few reports which are obligatory in France. While the Dossier de Diagnostic Technique includes survey reports on asbestos, lead, termites, energy efficiency, natural or industrial risks, gas installations, electrical wiring, septic tanks, radon, and a geotechnical survey, they fall well short of the full and complete structural building surveys we are familiar with on this side of the Channel.


This means finding a building surveyor and commissioning a full building survey is highly recommended, lest you wind up throwing good money after bad. So, what should you look for when hiring a surveyor?


Clearly you are going to want a building surveyor who knows what they are doing rather than some fresh-faced youth straight out of college. However, it is critical that you not only hire a surveyor who is experienced with the business of building surveys, but one who has specific experience within the French property market in particular.


There are many nuances to the French property market which can be a minefield to negotiate if you’re not a French citizen or have no experience in the country. A surveyor who specialises in French property will be able to help you navigate this maze and get you the best deal possible on a property which is in good order.


Even better than a surveyor who is merely experienced with the French property market is one who actually lives in France themselves.


A surveyor in France will be intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, and potentially already have a pre-existing relationship with the sellers and/or estate agents and notaires. They are also likely to speak the language, which can be a huge barrier when trying to negotiate, commission tradespeople, and communicate in general with the various stakeholders you’ll need to go through when buying a home in France.

Final Thoughts

Charles Mackintosh has over 30-years of experience buying and selling property in France. Having enjoyed family life in Valbonne, later Grasse and Opio, Charles also has full knowledge of the French culture and way of life.Get in touch to begin your journey today.