The Principality of Monaco is an ideal location for commercial property investors and business owners. It offers the perfect combination of dynamic and effective government, good banking support, a high-speed IT infrastructure, excellent transport links, a wide selection of residential homes and schools, an advantageous fiscal policy, combined with the support of a highly skilled workforce from Monaco, France and Italy. Caroline Olds Real Estate is well placed to help you with your commercial real investments in Monaco, this sparkling gem of a city state.

Upon receipt of a new enquiry for commercial real estate (and offices), we conduct a thorough search and we keep searching until we have found the perfect property for you.

Once a suitable property is found, the next step is for us to prepare a purchase proposal and agree terms. This is always done in writing. The proposal includes a detailed description of the property, the asking price and the timescales to completion (between 2 weeks and 2 months). To demonstrate the goodwill and commitment of the buyer, Monaco purchase offers are submitted accompanied by a cheque for 10% of the value of the purchase price. This serves as a deposit and will be cashed upon acceptance.

The buyer is responsible for the notarial, transfer and registration fees (between 6 to 9%) and an agency fee of 3% plus VAT. These sums are due upon closure. The Purchase Proposal once accepted and supported by a cheque, is a legally binding document. If the buyer decides not to go ahead with the transaction, they lose their deposit.

In some cases, 2 visits to the Notary are required to complete the sale. The first is for the signing of a Preliminary Agreement, which is usually necessary when terms are more complicated. The second is for the completion of the sale with the Final Act.

The Notary

The Monaco Notaire is an institution unique to the Principality. They have the monopoly for preparing the Final Deed and conducting all relevant searches on the property.

The Role of the Notary

It is the Notary’s responsibility to check that each party involved in the sale has “full legal capacity” or the right to either sell or purchase the property. The Notary has to conduct all searches relating to the current title of the property and ensure that these searches do not reveal any easements or restrictions which could reduce the value of the property or affect its enjoyment.

In addition, the Notary has to check that no mortgage or charge exists over the property. If this proves to be the case, they must take all necessary actions, so that all pre-existing mortgages/charges are repaid upon completion. They must also check the status of the property in relation to planning and ensure that the searches do not reveal anything that is likely to reduce the value of the property in the future. It is their duty to check that all pre-emptive rights have been waived.

The purchase cannot be completed until the local authority has provided the Notary with all the information pertaining to the above. If there is a mortgage on the property, the Notary has to contact the bank which has issued the mortgage and prepare the mortgage deed.

The Final Deed

During the (final) visit to the Notary, the vendor and the purchaser will have the deed read through to them by the Notary and agree on any amendments, following which the deed is finalised. The purchaser will have to pay the balance of the funds due, upon which the Notary will instruct the estate agency to hand over the keys to the new owner of the property. Once in possession of the entire amount of the agreed purchase price, the Notary will have to pay any claims by lenders, tax authorities, etc. and disburse the balance to the vendor.

Follow Up Actions

The Notary is responsible for registering the title deed with the Land Registry. The original deed will be kept by the Notary indefinitely, but the new owner will be provided with a copy of the title, as registered with the Land Registry, which is the proof of his ownership. This document will be available to the purchaser approximately two months after completion. The purchaser is entitled, however, to a copy of the signed deed on the day of completion.

Choice of Notary

Each party is free to select their own Notary. The purchaser is under no obligation to instruct the vendor’s Notary to act on their behalf.