Since February 2010, every French lawyer can act as a property agent, as long as he has registered as such in his Bar. Such an extension of the fields of activity of French lawyers can only be of benefit to potential buyers and sellers. Indeed, a lawyer is a necessary intermediary to guarantee optimal security concerning the legal situation of a property.

French lawyerOn one hand, the intervention of a lawyer when selling a property is the safest way to ensure the respect of legal obligations. For instance, since 1 November 2007 it is compulsory to establish a technical file on the state of the property regarding its electric installation, insulation, asbestos, lead, etc. before selling it. Depending on the date of construction of the property, different diagnostic surveys are needed. A lawyer will help determine what needs to be verified and what does not, therefore reducing the price of intervention of the expert firm.

A lawyer can also assist the seller in understanding the legal implications and responsibilities originating from the signature of the compromis de vente and the acte de vente or acte authentique.

On the other hand, when buying a property, the assistance of a lawyer is useful to have a legal analysis of the property regarding its technical state and the work necessary to respect the recent building standards. A review of the building possibilities of the property (addition of a room, a garage, construction of a swimming-pool…) might also be interesting to see the potential value of the property. Such clarification from a lawyer may finally allow for an efficient discussion over the reduction of the selling price.

The sale of a property can also be a direct consequence of a succession. The situation particularly regarding international succession is undoubtedly complicated enough to allow oneself to have one and only intermediary to deal with his or her case.

Being helped by a lawyer presents therefore a first advantage of being assisted before the notaire for the winding-up of the succession and its legal formalities.

A second advantage concerns the sale of the property which will be dealt with, in parallel of the succession, by the same person. This will surely reduce the period of settlement of the succession; the lawyer would also be able to give an accurate analysis of the various taxes to pay.

© Tom Schneider, Cabinet Schneider

Tel. +33 (0)4 67 66 04 60

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