You’ve found your dream property in Monaco and a purchase price has been agreed. Up until this point, you’ve been represented by us – your Monaco real estate agents – in the process. We’ve shown you the property and presented the official offer/s in writing to the vendor. The next step is to pay a deposit (commonly 10%) to a notaire, or notary. It’s a name that will undoubtedly sound familiar as every real estate transaction incurs additional notary fees (which depend on the value of the transaction). But what exactly is the role of a notary and how do I find an English-speaking notary in Monaco?
A notary is a ministerial official who has been given authority by the Monaco Government to undertake and authenticate legal formalities, including writing the deed of sale and witnessing signatures to make them legally binding. It is the responsibility of the notary to establish that the vendor is the true owner of the property for sale and that there is no obvious impediment to the sale going ahead. The role of the notary is to ensure that the transaction is completed with incontestable validity.
As the buyer, it is recommended that you nominate a notary to represent you during the property transaction – although there is always the possibility to use the seller’s notary, because the notary is the notary of the both parties. It is important to remember that all sales contracts, and any other documents that have to be signed when buying or selling a property in Monaco, are written in French. For non-French speakers, it is compulsory that a certified translator is present at the signing of the documents.
You’ll need to nominate your choice of notary as soon as you decide to make an offer on a property – they will be named in the written offer. Once a price has been agreed, the deposit is paid to the notary. This could be upon acceptance of the offer or upon signing a compromis de vente (especially when credit terms need to be agreed with a financial institution). Once the deeds have been drawn up and the sale is ready to be completed, both the purchaser and the vendor will sign them in the presence of the notary. This is also when the remainder of the purchase price is settled, along with the notary and agency fees.
There are three notary offices in Monaco and each has representatives who speak English. Their details are as follows:
Me Henry Rey
2, rue Colonel Bellando de Castro
Phone: +377 93 30 41 50
Me Magali Crovetto-Aquilina
31, boulevard Charles III
Phone: +377 93 50 54 13
Me Nathalie Auréglia-Caruso
4, boulevard des Moulins
Phone: +377 93 10 60 60