This whole process can take between 2 -3 months depending on the relevant situation.
During this period the Notaire will undertake searches including:-
- Confirmation that the vendor is the legal owner
- Confirmation that the vendor has all relevant permissions to sell the property
- In the case of new builds and properties which have had recent works undertaken, searches to check that all the relevant statutory notices (ie planning permission) were granted and that the works conform to these.
- Confirmation of the property boundaries and wayleaves, if any.
- Confirmation that the local authorities have waived their priority right to purchase (believe it or not this extends to every property in France, but very rarely will the local authority exercise its rights)
- In cases where the purchaser is obtaining a mortgage, the notaire will liaise with the bank/funder to confirm their approval of the loan and the timing as to when the monies will be released.
Once all the above is completed, the Notaire will issue a draft document to the purchaser and vendor together with a proposed date for signature. He will also detail the outstanding balance required to finalise the sale. These monies must be with the Notaire prior to signing. The Acte Authentique is always signed in front of the Notaire. So make a note that you will have to be in the area in order to complete the purchase. (NB. It is possible to give power of attorney to someone else but most people do prefer to attend)
Once the Acte Authentique is signed, the Notaire will send this to the Land Registry for registration. This process can take up to 6 months. When returned you will receive a certified copy and the Notaire will keep the original.