Role of the notaire

2013 July

Notaires are there to advise you. They are legal specialists with a public authority assignment who draw up authenticated contracts on behalf of their clients and ensure that transactions of properties for sale in Paris are secure.

They are present throughout France and perform a genuine local public legal service. Notaires make transfers of immovable property ownership certain by securing every stage of the transaction for the purchase of an apartment in Paris
They have a very detailed property database, which all the French notaires update at their own initiative, and therefore have thorough knowledge of the market and prices. They are able to determine the value of property and perform property valuation for properties for sale in Paris
Notaires as property negotiators
Their in-depth knowledge of the property market and how it works enables certain notaires to negotiate property and support both sellers and buyers in their search. For this work, notaires also have to apply a national scale of prices set by the French Minister of Justice. Their negotiation fees are calculated at a rate (excluding VAT) of 5% up to €45,735 and 2.50% thereafter.

To the negotiation fees should be added the usual fees to be paid under all circumstances which include the dues and taxes payable to the State but also the notaire’s remuneration for drawing up the authentic instrument of sale.
Your notaire is the only contact person you need
You can entrust your entire property project to your notaire: from signing the preliminary contract to the final deed of sale, from administrative formalities(preliminary statements, expiry of pre-emptionrights, etc.) to calculating the various taxes and declaring them to the appropriate authorities. Furthermore, since 1 January 2004 your notaire willdraw up any statements relating to capital gains tax on property and pay the tax to the appropriate authorities by direct deduction at source from the selling price. To be in touch with a notary is very important for your buying project.
The Notaire is your guarantee of legal certainty
In France all sales go through a notaire. As public officers they ensure the contract is performed correctly and, in addition to confidentiality, guarantee the necessary legal certainty.
They prepare the documents beforehand thereby preventing the majority of subsequent disputes. There are over one hundred legal and tax points to which notaires pay careful attention when drawing up the deed of sale.
For example, notaires may:

  • ask the parties to the contract for proof of their identities and marital status,
  • check the seller's instrument of title, the property’s mortgage status, agreed easements and applicable town planning regulations,
  • expiry of pre-emption rights,
  • check that the compulsory pre-sale diagnoses are performed before the preliminary contract is signed. ­

Their considerable legal knowledge and awareness of any amendments to legislation are the best legal guarantee when the preliminary contract is drawn up (before the deed of sale). You will not therefore have any unpleasant surprises.
Once the instrument is signed, it becomes the subject of a major formality: land registration which involves recording the legal status of the property at the land registry office. The aim is to keep a record of the rights of ownership over the building and the mortgages taken out on it. In their capacity as public officers, notaires have the monopoly over access to this file.
Finally, the notaire guarantees the title deeds by keeping them for 100 years in their office. After 100 years they are archived in the national records and will soon be stored electronically.
Notaires also provide legal and tax advice on housing development, construction and renovation projects.
Lastly, notaires who manage property provide investors with all the necessary expertise to do so efficiently.

source: notaires