Compulsory real estate diagnostics in France

Since the beginning of 2011, in France a seller of real estate is obliged to have established real estate diagnostics. These diagnoses made by an expert or a series of approved experts are to be attached to the house sales file, the Technical Diagnostic File or DDT, and are used to inform the buyer of certain risks. It also protects the seller from litigation. Certain tests have always been mandatory, but they are more numerous today and anyone who plans to put a property on the market must know exactly what these tests are, who should perform them and who will be responsible in the event of a problem.

Cost of diagnostic tests

If you choose to have all analyzes performed at once, the real estate diagnostic prices should be between 400 and 600 euros approximately. If you compare several quotes to take advantage of the best offer, you will probably find that some regions are more expensive than others and that the list of experts recommended by the prefecture doesn't give you as much choice as you'd like.

The price of a real estate diagnosis depends on the area of ​​your property. It also varies depending on whether you sell or rent your property. In all cases, it is advisable to carry out all the mandatory diagnostics at once, this can help you save. There is no regulation nor which fixes the price of the diagnoses: each company can practice the prices which it wishes.

How to find certified experts?

To make sure that the experts who carry out the diagnoses are well certified, you must ask your prefecture which will provide you with the contact details of people to call. COFRAC is the accreditation body, and all experts must be registered there. A notary or a good real estate agent will also provide you with the names and contacts of qualified experts.

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Another efficient and quick way to find certified diagnostician is to go to a site that connects owners and recognized diagnostic companies. This solution is effective because you can find many companies in one place and compare their prices. This saves you time and ensures that you contact a serious professional.

What happens if the diagnoses are not carried out?

These reports are a legal requirement for all properties sold. This document must be given to the new owner at the latest on the day of signature. If you do not meet all the required diagnoses, you, as a seller, remain responsible for any problems arising from these areas. The report is therefore attached to the sales agreement.

Although it is strongly advised to have all the tests done before placing the product on the market, some tests can legally be carried out later, provided that they are completed before the sale. The exception to this rule is the new requirement for an energy efficiency test, which must be carried out before the house is placed on the market and displayed in all advertisements.

However, as a seller, your obligation is limited to providing the information necessary for the buyer to have knowledge of possible faults of your property. You are therefore not obliged to carry out work to correct them. However, it is possible that if problems are highlighted in the report, a potential buyer will withdraw from the sale or demand a reduction in the price.

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Mandatory diagnoses

Since 2013, 9 diagnoses are mandatory in the context of a sale.

Screening forasbestos

All properties that obtained a building permit before 1997 must be tested for the presence of asbestos.

CREP (Report of risk of exposure to lead)

This test concerns only the use of lead in paint, where it can constitute a danger to the health of children or domestic animals, and not lead flashings on roofs, etc.

The gas diagnosis

Tests must be carried out on the property if the gas connection was installed more than fifteen years before the sale.

Electricity diagnosis

As for gas, tests are necessary if the property was equipped with a connection to the electricity network more than fifteen years ago.

The diagnosis sanitation

The purpose of this diagnostic is to ensure that the connections to the wastewater networks comply with the standards in force.

Termite diagnosis

All properties must be the subject of a termite report, which covers the property and its surroundings and this diagnosis is mandatory whether the property is located in contaminated areas or is likely to be. Your prefecture will tell you if your property is in a contaminated area or not. Termite infestation can destroy a property, so it is in everyone's interest to know the result of this test. In addition, the presence of other burrowing parasites and wood-eating fungi (merule) is checked during the diagnosis. It is also important to know that a termite infestation report is only valid for six months.

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ERP diagnosis

A natural risk assessment must also be carried out for the sales file. This not only covers the probability of natural disasters to which the area may be exposed, such as earthquakes, floods or forest fires, but also the effects of any local industrial action that may cause toxic emissions, soil degradation, etc.

Carrez Law

This diagnosis only applies to co-owned properties (vertical or horizontal). It is necessary to establish precisely the area of ​​the property sold. Individual houses are not subject to this criterion.

Le Energy performance diagnostic

This energy performance diagnosis was added to the list of mandatory diagnoses as part of a sale and rental since 2013. It must be carried out before the sale or rental of the property and the report must be displayed with your advertisement. The report indicates the energy efficiency of the property and reports on greenhouse gas emissions. It also provides advice on ways to improve efficiency, reduce bills and reduce emissions. Its validity is ten years from the date of the inspection.

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