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Time frames after signing

When appointments signature, the notaire told you that the deed was published in the "Land Registry Service" and must wait several months before receiving the title and the final account transactions.

­­Looking to buy or sell a property? Consult the guides "Buying property" and "Selling property".

  • Why wait so long ?

    • You will leave with the keys and your head full of projects, but without your title deed.

    • The notaire will, however, have given you certificates of ownership that will prove very useful for your administrative formalities (subscribing to utilities such as water, gas, electricity and telephone connections, a fire insurance contract, enrolling your children in school, etc.). These certificates act as a kind of temporary, simplified title deed. Why is the title deed not issued immediately ?

    • When you signed the sale agreement, the notaire will have explained that the deed of sale is recorded at the land registry office and that you will have to wait several months to receive the title deeds and final statement of operations/transactions performed.

  • Formalities to complete after signing the deed

    • You should remember that the notaire has just as many formalities to complete after signing the deed as before signing.

    • When you met you will have noticed that your notaire had created a large file prior to the sale. The notaire contacted the various relevant departments in charge of the civil status, town planning, land registry and mortgage , as well as the seller's bank.

    • A specific file is created before the deed of sale concerning a property (apartment, house or land) is signed, irrespective of the scale of the transaction. Notaires call this phase in the proceedings the preliminary formalities.

    • Once the deed of sale is signed, a certain number of operations called the subsequent formalities are also performed.

    • The most important is registration at the land registry service, which consists in recording the instrument in the property file and in the notaire paying the tax authorities the fees and taxes paid by the buyer upon the signature of the sale instrument (incorrectly called “Notaire’s fees”).

    • The notaire must also provide the various administrative authorities (land registry, land registry office) with copies and certificates of the deed of sale.
      These documents include a special copy called the “authenticated copy” which is signed by the notaire and returned to the notaire once it has been stamped by the tax authorities. This document is your title deed.

    • Remember that the notaire will keep the original of the instrument at his/her office for one hundred years before it is archived at the département records office.

  • Tele@actes

    • The notaire must comply with strict procedures in order to complete these subsequent formalities.
      His instruments enter a queuing system at the various administrative departments he must contact.

    • Using Tele@ctes, however, the forwarding/reply times have been shortened.

    • Tele@ctes avoids sending paper copies of property transfer instruments to the land registry office ( to begin with because soon the other departments of State including Civil Status will be concerned).

    • The land registry office is therefore notified of changes of owners in real time and the related financial exchanges are made using on-line procedures set up with the Caisse des Dépôts ( Deposit and Consignment Office).

    • Technological developments have also given rise to the electronic authentic instrument, which is now included in our legislative law. The civil law notary has thus adopted the electronic signature in recent months.

    • Instruments signed by notaires will be sent directly to the land registry office for registration purposes. Eventually it will be possible to transfer ownership in 48 hours using secure broadband connection.

    • Each year these departments handle millions of instruments which are carefully inspected. It always takes time to process the instruments. Other than in exceptional cases, the notaire forwards all the documents to the various administrative departments within two months of the of the signing of the deed of sale.

    • When your title deed, i.e. the authenticated copy with its official stamps, is returned to the notaire, he/she performs the final accounting operations for you and closes the account opened at the notaire’s office on your behalf for the purchase.
      - If you paid too much when you signed, the credit balance is returned to you together with the account statement and title deeds.
      If you did not pay enough, the notaire will ask you to pay the outstanding sum.
       You usually receive your title deed two to three months after signing the deed of sale.