How do I buy or sell real estate by procuration?


Sometimes the buyer or seller of a property may choose to be represented by a third party at the time of sale. This is not very complicated to set up, but there are a certain number of steps to be taken beforehand to avoid unpleasant surprises when the deed of purchase is signed. Cardis Sotheby's International Realty gives you the instructions for a good proxy transaction.

What is a procuration?

The person who is about to buy or sell real estate does not necessarily have to be present when the transaction is finalized. He or she can be represented by someone else. This may be a member of his family, the real estate agent who has assisted him so far and even the representative of the firm where the deed of purchase will be signed. In order for this third party to substitute for the buyer or seller, a procuration must be drawn up appointing him as the latter's official representative.

Why use a third party?

Being represented by a third party saves time. Finding a time that suits everyone, i.e. the buyer, the seller, the broker and the notary, requires synchronizing four agendas. This is not always easy when faced with the demands of the work world. But once both parties have agreed on the amount of the transaction, it is then possible to move forward. In rare cases, the transaction takes place between two parties with strained relationships, such as former spouses or family members in conflict. In these cases, it may be useful to go through a third party to prevent the situation from escalating.

What are the steps involved in using a third party?

A power of attorney must be established and legalized by a notary or lawyer. Concretely, it is a matter of drafting a document that specifies that person X will represent us on the day of the sale of the property. This person will sign the power of attorney and provide a copy of his or her identity document (passport or identity card accompanied by the residence permit). The notary or lawyer will then verify that the signature of the third party corresponds to the signature on his or her identity document, and sign the power of attorney himself or herself, which gives the document legal status.

Can my representative make choices for me?

The power of attorney is valid for one real estate transaction only. To avoid any confusion, the lot number concerned is mentioned in this document. Therefore, the third party cannot use the power of attorney delegated to him or her to endorse another transaction. If we want the same person to represent us in two different acquisitions, two separate powers of attorney will have to be issued. Similarly, we may choose to provide that the power of attorney has an expiry date that generally does not exceed one month, which limits the flexibility of the person representing us. That said, at the time the deed of purchase is signed, it is the third party who is responsible for deciding whether a last-minute issue is raised or whether a choice must be made on a point of detail.

What should I do if the third party makes a decision that is not right for me?

Once the sale has been finalized, there is no turning back. What is signed is signed. To prevent the person appointed to represent us from making a last-minute decision that is not convenient for us and that will be difficult to undo, we can limit his or her decision-making power by specifying in the power of attorney that he or she only has the right to sign on our behalf but not to make a decision or make a decision on our behalf. However, this type of situation is very rare. Generally, the buyer receives the draft deed of sale and all related documents several weeks before the date of signature, which gives him ample time to study it in detail. On the day the transaction is finalized, there are therefore few surprises or choices to be made, since each party has already been able to make modifications. 

At Cardis Sotheby's International Realty our agents are at your disposal to assist you in your real estate transactions.