The sale of real estate is provided for by article 1583 of the Civil Code which mentions it is “perfect” and compliant when the parties have agreed on the property and the price. Once the purchase offer has been signed (by the parties alone or through the assistance of a real estate agency), the seller and the buyer send the file to the notary of their choice.

The expertise of the notary is national and governed by the intercourse regulations of the profession.

1. Receiving the file

As soon as the notary receives the file, the latter reads it and contacts the client to discuss the real estate project. It appoints a collaborator who will be in charge of the constitution and/or the drafting of this project. Following which, the notary quickly sets an appointment in principle to sign the sale agreement.

2. Constitution and drafting of the sale agreement

The seller must provide his notary with the title deed as well as the real estate diagnoses, which are carried out for the property’s sale. Moreover, he must inform the notary about the equipment items of the property, any work which was carried out over the last ten years and the occupation of the property (rental situation, main residence, secondary residence, etc.).

In addition to the documents sent by the seller, the notary must obtain a town planning information note from the town hall.

When a property is subject to the status of co-ownership, it is essential to gather the documents of the co-ownership union, namely:

  • Information relating to the organization of the co-ownership (co-ownership regulations and any amendments, summary sheet, maintenance log, co-ownership registration certificate, etc.),
  • Information relating to the accounting situation of the co-ownership (dated pre-statement, the last three calls for charges, etc.),
  • Diagnostics on common areas,
  • The minutes of the last three years.

Once all the documents have been gathered, the sales agreement can be drafted. A draft is sent to the potential participating notary and to the clients, a few days before the appointment.

3. Signing the sale agreement

The parties and the notary(ies) meet to read and sign the agreement.

The purpose of this meeting is to allow the parties to discuss the real estate project, to determine the deadlines for the next steps and to discuss any problems in order to find a solution suitable for each of the parties.

At the end of this appointment, the buyer benefits from a withdrawal period, under the provisions of article L271-1 of the Construction and Housing Code, if the property subject to the preliminary contract is intended to be assigned to the dwelling and if the purchaser is an individual.

The deed containing the promise of sale and its annexes is sent via registered letter (electronic) with acknowledgment of receipt. Within ten days from the day after the first presentation of the letter, the purchaser may exercise his right of withdrawal, by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, which is sent to the notarial office drafting the act.

When the property is subject to the status of co-ownership, in addition to the withdrawal period of the SRU law, it is essential to meet the requirements of the provisions of article L 721-2 of the Construction and Housing Code: the notification also contains the rules of co-ownership and the descriptive statement of division, their published amendments, the minutes of the general meetings of the last three years and the financial information of the co-ownership (the pre-statement dated).

4. Constitution and drafting of the sale

The notary is responsible for receiving a complete urban planning file, from the town hall or the competent body. If the property is located outside Paris, it is necessary to bring together in particular: the certificate of town planning, quarry, numbering, alignment, danger, etc.

Most often, the promise to sell is conditional on obtaining a loan offer within a period defined in the agreement. Once the loan offer has been issued by the bank, the buyer has a minimum period of reflection before being able to accept the loan offer, which means, to return it signed to the bank. The period is of 10 calendar days and cannot be reduced. It begins the day after the buyer receives the offer. The setting up of the sales appointment will depend on the act of acceptance of the loan offer.

As far as possible, the notary or the collaborator in charge of the file will set an appointment in principle for the sale when the agreement has been signed.

A call for funds must be carried out by the firm at least one week before the date of the appointment.

To allow the signing of the sale agreement, the notary asks the trustee for the establishment of the dated statement. This document allows the seller and the buyer to know:

  • The remaining sums owed by the seller to the syndicate of co-owners,
  • Sums which the union could be indebted to the selling co-owner,
  • Sums that should be payable by the buyer of the lot.

After receiving all these elements, the appointment is set for the sale.

Once the sales agreement has been signed, the notary must inform the trustee of the change of owner by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. Through another letter, he informs about the transfer and possibly settles the trustee of the charges for which the seller is liable through a deduction of the price.

5. Transmission of the file to the accounting departments and subsequent formalities

As soon as the sales agreement is signed, the file is sent to the accounting department in order to carry out the accounting movements resulting from the sale (payment of the sale price, payments of the trustee, invoices, etc.) or relating to the taxation agreement. Following which, the person in charge of the subsequent formalities proceeds to the publication of the agreement with the competent land registration service while addressing the taxes relating to the transfer. The deed must necessarily be sent to the land registration service within one month of the date of signature.

Customers will only receive an authentic paper copy of the sales agreement on request, the digital version which is sent at the end of the appointment will have the same value.