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Specialist in French Property Law Strap Line

Purchasing an existing property

Purchasing a property off-plan

Leaseback purchase

Purchasing building land

Final Contract (acte de vente)

The acte de vente is the purchase deed by which the transfer of ownership is effected. This document should reflect and elaborate upon the content of the compromis and will contain the results of the searches. The final contract must be examined in detail in order to ensure that the information is correct and that it is in accordance with the terms of the initial contract. Careful review of the documentation should also confirm the results of investigations and searches. In addition to the notaire’s searches, we carry out independent searches, the results of which we check against those obtained by the notaire. The notaire will not as a matter of course provide the purchaser with a draft of the final contract (unless the property is under construction and bought off-plan), and therefore purchasers who do not instruct an independent legal advisor run the risk of discovering the content at the eleventh hour at the completion meeting when the notaire reads the contract to them just before they are due to sign. This is evidently not an advisable route to take as legal terminology being what it is in any language may mean that even with an interpreter present you may not be able to identify a problem .

Once the notaire's office is ready to complete they will give notice to the parties involved to attend their office at a mutually convenient date and sign the acte de vente in front of the notaire with the vendor/s or their representatives if they are not attending the completion meeting. Many clients prefer to attend in person, as it is something of an occasion however it can be done under a power of attorney, empowering a nominee, usually the notaire, to sign the document on your behalf should you be unable to attend in person, we can arrange this to suit your circumstances. The balance of the purchase price plus the notaire’s fee and where applicable the agent’s commission are payable to the notaire at the point of signature of the final contract.

In the case of non-French speaking vendors or purchasers, the notaire is required to satisfy him/herself that the parties are fully aware of the content of any document he/she has drafted that they will be asked to sign. It should be noted however that this does not imply a duty of care to either party to look after their interests but is simply a duty, as it were, to the correct process and satisfactory understanding of the contract without necessarily any regard to the full implications of that contract. This stage completed the notaire forwards the documentation to the charges and land registry and after a period an official copy is sent to the purchaser the original being returned to the notaire to be retained in the archives.

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