Buying Property in France; Notaire’s Negotiation Fees
It is a common fallacy that if you deal directly with a notaire that you will not pay the negotiation fees that are charged by an agent.
History of the Notaire in France
In the 3rd century AD, under the late Roman Empire, officers whose roles were similar to that of modern French notaires were already authenticating contracts on behalf of the State. The colonizers introduced the concept into Gaul and “Gaulish notaries” and began the process of drawing up documents, particularly land censuses designed to establish the basis for property tax .
The profession disappeared after Rome fell to the barbarians, but reappeared in the 9th century by virtue of a capitulary issued by Charlemagne.
At the dawn of the Kingdom of France
In 1270, shortly before setting off on his last crusade, King Louis IX, commonly known as Saint Louis, and King Philippe le Bel, in 1302, played an important part in developing the role of the French notary.
King Louis IX appointed 60 French notaries at Le Châtelet to work on behalf of the Provost. King Philippe le Bel extended the role of the French notary to all the lands governed by the sovereign.
From the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts to the “Age of Enlightenment”
France became a nation in the 16th century. In 1539 King Francois Ier, by ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts prefigured how the civil law notary was to be organised : the deeds were to be written in French instead of regional dialects, the deeds were to be archived and a record their existence was to be kept.
French Revolution and 19th century
The French Revolution did not challenge the notarial institutio to any notable extent. However, during the final phase of the Consulate, life-consul Napoleon Bonaparte, under an Act dated 25 Ventôse year XI by the revolutionary calendar, gave French notaries a specific status, the main features of which have remained unchanged.
The 20th century
At the end of the greatest war in history, the Order dated 2 November 1945 gave French notaries their institutional bodies and founded the High Council for the French Notariat (Conseil supérieur du notariat).
The profession of Notaire considerably developed since this period, made particularly vital by the need to rebuild France after World War II. The Notariat has made a major contribution to this rebuilding in the legal and tax fields.
The legal profession experienced dramatic expansion after the War as politicians reformed most of France’s institutions or created new institutions in many different fields.
At the same time as these developments, town-planning regulations underwent dozens of one-off changes and two new areas of law emerged: that of protection of consumer rights and that of environmental protection.
In short, the law has seen more changes in the last half-century or less than it underwent in the previous one hundred and fifty years. However, by investing significant technical and financial resources, the Notariat has managed to cope with and adapt to all these changes.