1 - Taking possession:
Taking possession of the property clearly refers to the handover of the keys to the purchaser which usually takes place on the day of the final signing or receiving rent if the property is to be rented out.
The date of the transfer of possession of the property should be stated in the contract, the purchaser is then responsible for taxes and any payments related to the property. If the sale consists of an empty property, this usually takes place on the day of the sale.
2 - Making the payment
The main obligation of the purchaser is to pay the price stipulated in the contract.
This obligation also involves « the administrative and other fees related to the sale of the property », which are charged to the purchaser according to article 1593 of the civil code.
However the two parties could request the fees to be allocated differently as long as all other parties involved agree.
Generally the vendor and purchaser are solely responsible for paying the notaire's fees and all other taxes and costs involved in the transaction.
Usually the purchaser is not responsible for paying the taxe foncière and the taxe d’habitation which are paid by the occupant of the property 1st January of the year in question. However the contracts often contain a prorate refund of the taxe foncière based on the day of acquisition.
In general, the purchaser pays no additional interest for the period between the days of sale until the actual payment is received with three exceptions stated in article 1652 of the Civil Code:
If the vendor does not fulfil his/her obligations ( a major hidden fault is discovered, the property does not conform etc.), The purchaser can claim« d’exception d’inexécution » and suspend all or part of the payment.
3 - Methods of payment:
It is of course the purchaser who pays the sale price. However this obligation could be passed on to a sub-buyer, with the agreement of the vendor. In the case of the death of the purchaser before the final payment, the obligation of payment will then be transferred to the next of kin.
Usually the payment is handled through the notaire.
Indeed, any creditors who have financed the property (mortgage, etc.). In this case the notaire is required to debit the outstanding amount to the creditors, before transferring the remainder to the vendor's account.
The buyer in principal has to pay the final payment « on the day and place of the sale » (art.1650 of the civil code). It is therefore up to the parties concerned to fix the method of payment when the pre-contract is signed. Failing that article 1651 states that the payment must be received « at the place and time of handover », that is to say at the time the keys are handed over.