skip to Main Content

Prominent actors in the Due Diligence of property transactions


Every acquisition in France needs some investigations to be done beforehand, to facilitate the procedure and its organization: the Due Diligence. This practical guide’s main goal is to describe the prominent actors in preventing the appearance of issues in real estate transactions in France.

1. Notary or Notaire:

As a public officer designated by the Ministry of Justice, who accompanies professionals involved in real estate, the Notaire has legal monopoly for certifying papers and finalizing the registration of deeds.

Its intervention is necessary for asset transactions, to lead to registered deeds, and for share transactions, to undertake a review of the land titles possessed by the sold firm.

What’s the Notaire’s role in the due diligence process?

The Notaire examines title deeds and gives documentation demonstrating the origin of the property or building’s possession during the last thirty years. The pre-contractual information being strictly affiliated to due diligence, a Notaire must also gather information to ensure the parties are informed. They must also confirm the transaction’s legitimacy and making the deed public and registering it at the land registry office, so it is opposable to third parties.

2.The lawyer or avocat:

Lawyers perform as legal assistants. They can be consulted for many subjects even those not concerning disputes. Procedures or formalities are also of their prerogatives. Finally, they defend, represent, and assist their clients in litigations.

What’s the lawyer’s role in the due diligence process?

Lawyers are usually involved in tax and legal matters that surround transactions, drafting of legal deeds, negotiation, audit of the property company or building, and of the litigations, and the review of existing leases. Their work is frequently requested in share deals where they can be responsible for preparing the transaction documentation and establishing the data room. It also requires due diligence in reviewing the tax affaires of the concerned company, tax warranties and representations.

3. Surveyor or géomètre expert:

The géomètre expert, a technician conducting activities like topographic studying, and surveying to determine limits of lands or plots, acts as a component of a liberally regulated profession.

What’s the géomètre expert’s role in the due diligence process?

They have the monopoly to determine the nature of the land in question and establishing rights of the owners: identification of land, joint ownership, and calculating the surface areas, are all his prerogatives, yet are strongly linked to notarial deeds.

4. Real Estate Expert:

May they come from firms of surveyors, may they be court-appointed, in credit institutions, or independent, Real Estate surveyors are experts who specializes in valuing real estate assets. Real Estate Experts are regulated by the Property Surveying and Valuation Charter drafted by the IFEI or Institut Français de l’Expertise Immobilière.

What’s the Real Estate Expert’s role in the due diligence process?

Overseeing valuation of property assets in details for economic and accounting, and selling purposes, they also intervene to comply with rules that require to value properly a building.

5. Technical counsel:

A technical counsel reviews and verifies environmental, structural, and fire safety, when requested by the buyer.

About the Author :

Business lawyers, bilingual, specialized in acquisition law; Benoit Lafourcade is co-founder of Delcade lawyers & solicitors and founder of FRELA; registered as agents in personal and professional real estate transactions. Member of AAMTI (main association of French lawyers and agents).

FRELA : French Real Estate Lawyer Agency, specializing in acquisition law to secure real estate and business transactions in France.

Paris, 19 Rue du Colisee, 75008 Paris

Bordeaux, 78 Cours de Verdun, 33000 Bordeaux

Lille, 40 Theater Square, 59800 Lille

Back To Top