Guide to Legal Process of Buying Property in France

6. Local Searches

  1. Introduction
  2. Capacity of the Parties
  3. Title Searches
  4. Pre-emption Rights
  5. Planning Searches

6.1. Introduction

No sale agreement between buyer and seller has any validity unless it is later certified in a deed of sale, called an Acte de Vente, prepared and by the notaire.

The whole process from signing of the contract to the deed will normally take several months.

Although some notaires operate at a ponderous pace, the delay is not entirely their fault, for the search enquiry process is long.

Nevertheless, they are often rather poor at communicating with the buyer, so do not expect them to ring you until they are ready for you to come for the completion formalities.

If you want to know how things are going, as a general rule you are going to have to chase them, but a response cannot always be guaranteed!

6.2. Capacity of the Parties

The notaire will need to be satisfied as to the identity of the parties and their legal capacity to proceed with the transaction.

They will therefore require birth and marriage certificates of all signatories and also your passport.

If the seller is elderly or handicapped they may be under the protection of a court or guardian. In which case the approval of court of law or guardian will be sought before the sale can be concluded.

If the seller is married then the notaire will wish to be satisfied as to who is entitled to sell the property and whether or not the consent of both parties is required.

Next: Title Search

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