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A ministerial officer who authenticates the sale of your house:
The Notaire

The profession of notaire dates back to ancient Rome and ensures the legal security of property transactions. Other duties of the notaire...

The role of the notaire:
Notaires are public officers appointed for the administration of instruments or contracts to which the parties must or wish to grant the authenticity associated with public authority instruments, and for guaranteeing the date, filing them and issuing engrossed or duplicated copies. Article 1, law of 2nd of November 1945.

The notaire works from a notarial office on behalf of the State and is appointed by the minister of justice and confers authenticity on instruments.

The Notaire is a professional empowered to authenticate instruments by affixing his seal and signature. By so doing he officially witnesses the wishes expressed by the signatories.

The notaire intervenes in:
  • The arrangement of mortgages and creditor’s rights.
  • Marriage contracts, gifts.
  • Registration of wills.
  • Instruments relating to the sale of property.
  • Establishment of usufruct of a property, consumer good, or dwelling.
  • Establishment of rights and easements.
  • Preparation of rules of co-ownership and their modification.

L’acte authentique (authenticated deed):
On the day that the authenticated deed is signed, the seller agrees to hand over the property concerned to the buyer at the price agreed during negotiations with the estate agent.

This document must be drafted by a notaire, usually the one chosen by the seller. You can ask for your own notaire to assist you at no extra cost.

The notaire checks that both signatories (buyer and seller) agree on their mutual commitments. The notaire then reads the authenticated deed during the signing thereof.
During the course of the signing, the buyer pays the balance of the sale price, the agency fees and the notaire’s fees.
The title deeds are given to the new owner to enable them to prove their ownership and finally the keys to the property are handed over.

It takes about six months for the authenticated deeds to be transferred to the ‘bureau des hypothèques’ (land registry) to be recorded and published, then returned to the notaire who drafted the deeds who will then hand them over to the buyer.

All changes of ownership (sales, gifts and inheritances) are recorded at the ‘bureau des hypothèques’. All deeds can be consulted by anyone upon request. In order to obtain the file on a given building which includes the sale price and the buyer’s name, you need to know the address, plot number and its land registry reference number.

The notaire’s fees:
There has been a single scale of fees for all notaires since 1978.

The amount that is paid to the notaire, known as the ‘frais de notaire’ (notaire’s fees) also includes:
  • the taxes that are paid to the State and local authorities (about 8/10 of the fees). These are sums that the notaire is obliged to collect and pay to the State on behalf of their client. These vary according to the nature of the deeds and the nature of the property.
  • The disbursements (1/10): these are sums paid by the notaire on behalf of their client to remunerate the various parties involved and/or to pay the cost of the different documents and to pay any one-off costs incurred at the request of the client (e.g. travel costs).
  • The notaire’s remuneration in the true sense of the word (1/10).
  • The profession of notaire is governed by law.
  • Notaires are obliged to maintain professional secrecy.
  • You are free to choose your own notaire to authenticate the sale or purchase of a house.
  • You are obliged to have the final deed authenticated by a notaire when buying a property.
  • The authenticated deed is an instrument signed by a notaire.
  • You cannot contest an authenticated deed.
  • The mortgage arrangement costs are included in the notaire’s fees.

This list of notaires in the North Cotentin will enable you to find the closest notaire to your place of residence:

List of notaires in North Cotentin

  • Christelle ARNOUX à Montebourg
  • Xavier BLEICHER à Barneville-Carteret
  • François CHEVALIER-WYNDHAM-JONES à Equeurdreville-Hainneville
  • Amélie DAMOURETTE à Bricquebec
  • Elise DECOURT-BELLIN à Tourlaville
  • Thierry DELAY à Montebourg
  • Stéphane EUDES à Carentan
  • Jean-Baptiste FONTANET à Cherbourg-octeville
  • Frédéric GODEY à Saint-Pierre-Église
  • François GRAVELLE à Carentan
  • Pierre HORVAIS à Les Pieux
  • Jean-Marie LANOS à Cherbourg-octeville
  • Jean-Pierre LAURENT à Barneville-Carteret

  • Philippe LEFRANCOIS à Valognes
  • Françoise LEGOUPIL-LERAY à Saint-Pierre-Église
  • Marc LEGRAND à Cherbourg-octeville
  • Jérôme LEMAITRE à Carentan
  • Armand BOISROUX à Cherbourg-octeville
  • Anne Lise MAUPILE à Bricquebec
  • Anne MOTIN à Cherbourg-octeville
  • Florence POUZENC à Cherbourg-octeville
  • Jean-Pierre REYNAUD à Valognes
  • Emmanuel ROBINE à Tourlaville
  • Thierry ROSETTE à Cherbourg-octeville
  • Frédéric THOMAS à Les Pieux
  • Philippe THOREL à Valognes