The Real Estate Sale Deed: What You Need To Know
The Real Estate Sale Deed: What You Need To Know

The Real Estate Sale Deed: What You Need To Know

5 minutes, 15 seconds Read

A real estate sale is a legal transaction that requires multiple steps. Congratulations, if you have signed the real estate sale deed, you are now at the final stage of your real estate sale!

Real estate sales deed: what is it?

The real estate sale deed is a legal act that formalizes and confirms the sale of a property (apartment, house, etc.). On the day of the deed of sale, the seller and buyer are gathered around the notary to sign the final deed and hand over the keys. The authentic deed also constitutes the basis of the title deed.

It is also at this time that the price of the property and the notary fees are paid by the buyer.

Where is the deed of sale signed?

The signing of the deed of sale always takes place at the notary, unlike the signing of the sales agreement which can be carried out directly between the seller and the buyer.

This gives it the value of a legal contract, an authentic act of sale that includes the conditions of sale set out in the preliminary contract.

You don’t have a notary? Don’t panic, find out around you and in your town about the notaries present. In all cases, it is not necessary for the buyer and seller to each have a notary. You can have the same notary for your sale.

The role of the notary when signing the deed of sale

The notary ensures that transactions go smoothly and monitors the sale. It is he who will have drawn up the deeds (sale agreement and final deed), collected them, authenticated them, and kept them.

Once the sales agreement has been signed and before signing the deed of sale, the notary will also carry out a whole series of checks:

  • Is the seller the owner of the property?
  • Is his title to the property indisputable? And that of the previous owners?
  • Is there a mortgage or lien registration on the real estate?

Before signing the deed, the notary will also contact the trustee (if it is a co-ownership) to find out the financial situation of the seller about the co-ownership. This will prevent the buyer from unpleasant surprises during the transfer of the property.

Once the deed of sale has been signed, the notary takes care of land registration, that is to say, publishing the deed of sale in the local real estate file.

What periods between the compromise and the deed of sale?

Except in exceptional cases, a preliminary contract (promise or compromise of sale) precedes the act of sale. It is in the latter that the deadline by which the deed of sale must be signed is stipulated.

In general, 3 months pass between the signing of the compromise and the deed of sale. It can be a little less in some cases (2 and a half months). This is due to the different deadlines granted:

  • 10-day withdrawal period which begins the day after signing the compromise
  • Deadline of one and a half months for obtaining a loan from the buyer and obtaining it

In addition, the notary can never sign a deed of sale before having served the urban right of pre-emption. This operation consists of informing the municipality of the planned real estate transaction. The municipality then has two months to decide whether it wants to pre-empt (i.e. buy the property in place of the intended buyer) or not.

If the beneficiary authority indicates that it waives its right of pre-emption or does not appear during the 2 months, the deed of sale can then be signed by the prospective buyer.

What should the deed of sale contain?

The deed of sale of a house or apartment must mention not only the contact details of the seller and the buyer but also include the information mentioned in the preliminary contract:

  • Description of the property (as well as its equipment)
  • The exact address of the apartment/house
  • The origin of the property (date of the previous deed of sale, name of the previous owner, notarial deed, etc.)
  • The existence of a mortgage or servitude
  • The sale price of the transaction excluding notary fees
  • Payment terms (use of a property loan if this is the case of the buyer)
  • The amount of the real estate agency’s fees, if you have mandated one
  • The amount of notary fees (which include taxes due to the tax services and the fees of the notary himself)
  • The date the property will be available
  • Technical and real estate diagnostics (the DPE is mandatory and in addition depending on the geographical areas: gas, asbestos, lead, etc.)
  • Conditions precedent if any exist
  • Information relating to the conditions for exercising the right of reflection

How to obtain a copy of a deed of sale?

Once the deed of sale is signed, the notary keeps the original document and sends you a copy in the weeks that follow. You will receive it by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt or by bailiff’s deed.

Please note that the original will be kept for 75 years by the notary.

Can the buyer still withdraw once the deed of sale has been signed?

Once the deed of sale has been signed, the purchaser can benefit from a right of reflection and reconsider his commitment.

This right of reflection can be exercised within 10 days, if and only if, the deed of sale was not preceded by a promise to sell. In fact, in this case, the purchaser has already benefited from a withdrawal period following signing the promise, and therefore no further period can be granted to him.

This waiver must be notified to the seller by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.

And concretely after signing the authentic deed, what do I leave with?

If you are a seller, you will not receive any specific document on the day of signing apart from one or more checks concerning advanced charges, property tax, or others. You have just sold your property, congratulations!

Conversely, if you are a buyer, you will leave with a certificate/ title of ownership as well as the keys to the accommodation! You will receive a copy of the deed of sale a few weeks later. You are now an owner, congratulations!

Read Other: Real Estate Investing Isn’t Too Hard To Learn About

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