Buying and selling

The Role of the French Notaire in Buying Real Estate

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The Role of the French Notaire in Buying Real Estate 


Buying property in France? Bewildered by the small-print and legal jargon? Read on to discover the role of the notaire in the French property buying process.

What is a notaire?

A notaire, much like a public notary, validates deeds/acts/contracts, as well as archives and delivers their official copies. With this power, notaires can also register companies, arrange the selling/buying of businesses and draw up leases. Notaires are also hired to act as impartial arbitrators in disagreements between private individuals.

Unlike their American counterparts, notaires are paid for their services. These fees are usually regulated by the state and agreed upon before business. Notaires are also obliged to maintain professional confidentiality.

Notaires in French Real-Estate

If you are purchasing property in France, it’s a mere matter of time before you encounter a notaire. This is because notaires are the sole public official authorized to prepare the final deed when buying and selling property.

Some buyers enlist notaires earlier in their real-estate search, seeking advice on property valuation. For non-French citizens, we recommend obtaining additional legal counsel from a home country or international lawyer who is familiar with French law and its buying property process. French notaires may not be acquainted with all the restrictions or possible problems facing an international buyer.

Paris Rental‘s client relations experts specialize in international rentals and sales. We’re happy to lend you our expert advice on France’s property market. Since 1987, our team has matched expatriates with quality, long-term housing. If you’re in need of the services of a notaire, we’re more than happy to direct towards a licensed professional.

While drawing up the deed, the notaire verifies that…

  • the seller holds the right to sell the property and that the buyer has the legal right to buy the property.
  • the property’s title does not hold any restrictions that would reduce its value or enjoyment (for example, a tenant with an active lease).
  • no mortgages or charges exist on the property.
  • if there will be a mortgage, s/he will prepare the mortgage deed with the bank.

On the signing day, the notaire

  • reads the complete deed to all parties and make any necessary adjustments.
  • accepts the payment from the buyer.
  • ensures that the real-estate agency delivers the keys to the buyer and transfers the payment to the seller.

After the Sale

The notaire registers the deed with the land authority. S/He will provide copies of the deed to all parties. Two months or so after the signing, the notaire will deliver the title to its new owner.

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credit photo @Tierra Mallorca