The process of buying a property or land in France is strictly regulated. The services of certain professionals are required for the process and will secure your project.
This is a overview of who is involved and how.
The estate agent or realtor is accredited with a professional card and also is carrying a professional insurance. The realtor’s mission is to obtain the best possible price for the property and receive the agreement of the buyer and the seller. He will be also able to give an estimation of all the fees and property charges the buyer will be responsible for when they become the owner.
In France, the realtor is not exclusive for the buyer or the seller ; he will be acting as an intermediary and will try to find the best possible agreement. In case of a success and when the contract is definitly signed and validated, he will receive a commission.
He is a highly specialised lawyer appointed as public officer by the Justice Minister.
Notaires have a monopoly on properties sale and they are liable for their professional act. They are responsable to prepare the various documents, confirming the seller’s title to the property.
The Notaire is empowered to authenticate instruments by affixing his seal and signature. By so doing he officially witnesses the wishes expressed by the signatories and gives his personal guarantee regarding the content and date of the instrument. Such instruments then have the legal status of a final judgment. As such, the Notaire is an amicable judge and dispensers of out-of-court justice.
The notaire is also responsible for checking that there are no existing mortgage on the property and they will provide a financial guarantee to the buyer.
The purchaser is free to choose their own notaire, but may use the same notaire as the vendor. The cost is the same regardless of the option chosen: if there are two notaires the fee is split between them.
You may find here a Notaire who will speak your language.