In South of France, property transactions (like those concerning buying south France properties and selling property in south France) are handled by "French Notaires": their function is to ensure that the purchase transaction is carried out legally and accurately in accordance with the proper processes. Notaries also to give the transaction absolute validity that cannot be contested by anyone. Accordingly, it is unnecessary to appoint a second "Notaire" to act for yourselves.
If you are buying property in south of France, from a foreign country, you may feel more "comfortable' having your own Notaire or perhaps European Lawyer to explain some of the points that arise which may be unclear.
It is not unusual for "Notaires" to volunteer advice on how purchase houses south of France because of complex french laws rules!
For example, there are some other kinds of contract such as the "Promesse de Vente" where the contract is not binding on both parties to the same extent as the "Compromis de Vente". These agreements are often used buying south France villa. By signing those contracts (less familiar!), the vendors still commit themselves to selling the property to the purchasers, but this commitment takes the form of promising not to sell it to anyone else within a stated period, usually 3 months. A deposit of between 4% and 9% is again paid and the purchaser will usually forfeit the deposit if they do not go ahead on buying property in south of France!
Also, don't forget please another important element on purchasing process: from the signing of the contract the purchaser is responsible for the insurance of all the buildings on the property!
Last, but not least, before you buy a house south of France or buying french properties, it is usual to request local artisans to give an opinion as to the condition of say the roof, or the walls and for them to give quotations for the work. French buyers would be more likely to approach an architect or 'expert' but even then it is unusual for them to be asked to prepare a detailed report as has become "de rigeur" in certain European countries. Surveys of the condition of the property you intend to purchase by professional surveyors or 'experts' are unusual in France. So don't be daunted by it.
Real estate in the south of France is submitted to different sorts of fees and commission unlike in some other french regions (or non european countries): you should take into account this key point before you plan to invest your money in south of France property!
Southern Drome & Ardeche regions and Mediterranean east are best areas to put your money. All in all, please always remember: buying property in south of France could be a good payback investment! Think about it!!