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Real estate conveying in France, the culture shock


The signing of the original deed of sale constitutes the transfer of ownership. The notary witnesses the signing, which marks the transfer of ownership from the previous owner to the purchaser. The real estate agency, if any, should alert you about the progress of the transfer of ownership, as well as the procedures to follow, in case of disagreement, in the absence of the second signatory, and so on. The payment of the complete transaction price and ancillary costs, such as notary fees and registration fees, occurs with the transfer of ownership.

In France, it is unavoidable to use a notary to acquire or sell real estate, it is far from the case everywhere in the world.

Being a Public Officer, a highly competent legal adviser, and solicitor, the Notary is the only person authorized to set up mortgage, sales transactions, and gifts. Even though his missions do not include litigations, his role consists in verifying that the buyer and seller both have the capacity to buy or sell depending on the case, and that the sold property has full legal existence and is free of mortgage. Not to forget his experience with foreign clients that can always be beneficial to the investors. Foreigners who want to invest in France will need to make good connections with people in the French community or else build a network of real estate agents who are used to dealing with this culture shock.

The acquisition of real estate in France by a non-resident has led to a significant increase in transfers of funds, which are subject to the control of French banks and credit institutions in the context of the fight against money laundering.

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.

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