Notaries sells by auction (Vente aux enchères or Adjudication) all kind of properties such as appartments, individual houses, villas, but also offices, factories, workshops…
Sellers are public authorities, associations, but also sometimes private individuals.
Auctions are not reserved for specialists, it’s easy to buy.
You can download the dictionary specific to the auction by clicking HERE

Before the sale :

First, you have to visit the property.
You can consult the schedule of conditions (Cahier des charges or Cahier des conditions) including the legal, economic and administrative conditions of the sale that the selling Notary makes.

During the sale :

If you want to participate in an auction, you must make a deposit by bank check in euros (Consignation par chèque de banque en euros). This check is given to the selling notary prior to the beginning of the auction. The amount of the check is generally about 20% of the upset price (Mise à prix). This check is returned immediately if the bidder (l’enchérisseur) is not ultimately the buyer of the property.
Auctions are conducted “by inch of candle” (à la bougie) or by stopwatch (au chronomètre).
The Notary begins the sale at the upset price. Every bidder can offer an upper price by raising the hand.

By inch of candle : after the last bid (dernière enchère), a small wick is lit, witch burns for 10 to 15 seconds and lets out a puff of smoke upon excintion. If no new bid is received after the combustion of two other fires (feux), the Notary adjudicates (adjuge) the sale to the highest and last bidder (l’adjudicataire).
By stopwatch : it’s the same rule. If no new bid is received during 90 seconds, the Notary adjudicates the sale to the highest and last bidder.

After the sale :
If you are the winner, you can enter the premises as soon as you become the owner of the house, in general once the sale is final, that is when the price is paid.

Generally, you have 45 days to pay the price, so it’s possible to make a loan.