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The Role of the Notaire

The Notaire is a Public Officer, empowered by the French Republic to authenticate any legal document or contract. He has a duty of due diligence, and provides advice and help to his clients. He ensures that any document ("acte" in French) bearing his seal is legally binding, complying with all current judicial and fiscal regulations.

The Notaire is independent from all parties, as his remuneration is regulated by law. He can therefore act in the interest of both parties of the transaction, often using his legal knowledge to resolve differences between the parties prior to signature. The "acte" is a legal document which can be enforced in all courts of law in the European Union.

The fees paid to the Notaire, as regulated by law, include fixed amounts and a percentage of the transaction price. These fees cover not only his remuneration but also all taxes and stamp duties payable respectively by the buyer and the seller. This is a significant departure from the UK system, where each party has their own solicitor. In France one Notaire acts for both buyer and seller.

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