The term “Notary” refers to a public officer who is responsible for the authenticity of the acts they compose. A liberal professional who completes multiple assignments.
In such, they play the role of council to businesses and individuals: they give out advice in order to better protect the interests of these different actors in various legal domains: family law, urban planning law, property rights, property law, business law and so on.
They also intervene in the fiscal domain.
In their role as public officer, the Notary attributes an assurance of authenticity and reliability to the different acts they compose. They receive a remuneration from their clients for the services they provide them. This is based on a tariff set by the State In addition to the Crown Prosecutor, they practice their activities under the control of the Interdepartmental or departmental Chambre des Notaires. This systematic annual control, carried out without warning, concerns both the acts established by the Notary and the compatibility of their office.
What are the guarantees brought by the notary?
As part of their intervention, the clientele of the Notary benefit from a certain number of guarantees. In effect the notary must respect a particularly strict moral code, as well as offering their clients a transparent pricing system. Additionally, the activities of this public officer and liberal professional are covered by an assurance of responsibility and a collective guarantee. The Notary practices their different activities with individuals and businesses in total independence. The various clauses that make up the texts in force.
In practice, this moral code translates as a ban on undertaking commercial activity. For example they cannot carry out speculative operations of buying and selling property or even take commission from property values, banks or commerce. In the capacity of a liberal professional moving up from a sector of regulatory professions, they are insured against the consequences of errors that they or their personnel may perpetrate during the writing of acts or in their advisory role.
According to the regulatory texts, the organisation covering these risks is put in place in a collective manner by the professional body of the notary.
Outside of this classic insurance, the profession organised a collective guarantee covering the consequences of intentional financial negligence and faults. Subjected to regulations by decree in the council of state, the notary has a remuneration which respects a national tariff. It is necessary however to distinguish the fees received for acts under a fixed tariff and non-tariff acts.
On the whole, the intervention of a notary therefore signifies multiple guarantees of security and independence for their clientele.
The preliminary contracts: purchase offers, sale commitments and preliminary sale agreements
As part of a sale of a property, the seller and the buyer conclude their agreement on the principle terms and conditions of such an operation set out in the preliminary contracts. To avoid bad surprises, such documents are compulsory and must be established by a notary so that their authenticity is preserved. These are notably the purchase offer, sale commitment and preliminary sale agreement.
The purchase offer refers to an act by which the parties agree on the property and the price. It must be signed by the future buyer.
The sale commitment refers to the most important preliminary contract during a sales operation insofar as it is in this act that all party commitments are set.
In the preliminary sales agreement, the buyer commits to buy the property and the owner to sell it.
The bill of sale
The bill of sale refers to the certified act recording a property sale. Its composition by a Notary is obligatory. In the interest of both the seller and the buyer, the Notary carries out certain steps before and after the signing of this document by the involved parties.
In such, before the bill of sale, they must examine the police record of the parties and carry out other formalities such as the verification of the preemptive rights or the obtaining of urban planning documents as well as the mortgage situation. After the signing of the bill of sale, they proceed with the publicity of landed property transactions, with the payment of the transfer tax and the capital gains tax, with notifying the property manager by post, with the price release and changing the title deeds to the buyer.