The Good Life France

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What is the Acte de Vente in France?

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You found the dream house in France. You’ve signed the Compromis de Vente,  you’ve waiting around three months  and now you’re going to complete the Acte de Vente the last part of the buying process.

The Acte de Vente

This is it! The big day!

All parties meet in the Notaire’s office. The balance of the money must have been transferred to the Notaire account 48 hours beforehand so all will go according to plan. You will need to supply an “Attestation d’ Origine des Fonds” to comply with French anti money laundering laws and this can be obtained from your bank or currency provider (it doesn’t matter which country they ‘re based in – they will all be able to do this).

The Notaire will read through the Acte de Vente adding in the results of his searches made during the delay after the compromis and the names of previous owners – the paper trail that makes buying property in France so safe. The Acte itself is in two parts; the first is a confirmation of the parties and property while the second is the “Annexes” or standard clauses. Until recently, at this stage the paper shuffling started with all parties signing or initialling every page as required. Most Notaires these days use an “electronic signature” with a computer screen and electronic pad that is signed twice by each person and the results electronically printed on to the document in the right places. No more writer’s cramp!

The notaire will give an “Attestation” to the buyer and seller. For the seller it allows them to cancel their insurances etc. and for the buyer it is proof of ownership while the Notaire registers the transfer with the land registry. During the next three to six months the new owner will receive a certified copy of the Acte.

Signing done – the keys are handed over. The proud new owner can now “live the dream” and it really is time for those champagne corks to pop.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me via the The Good Life France

By Tim Sage, property expert and northern France local agent at Leggett Immobillier

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