14 June 2022

Testimony of Mr. Stefan CHOFFAT, Notary and lawyer in the NOVA firm as part of the sale of the Cornaux building

By Katharina

Join a community of over 15’000+ investors

 

This mechanism allows all types of investors to invest in property and opens up new opportunities. I would like to quote the proverbial “there is strength in unity” and personally I think that crowdfunding is a success.

Mr. Stefan CHOFFAT, Notary and lawyer in the NOVA firm as part of the sale of the Cornaux building

 

Introduce yourself briefly ?

I am a happy father of 4 children (3 boys and a girl). I have been involved in elite sports and studies, playing ice hockey with HC Biel, HC Fribourg-Gottéron and the Swiss U20 team.
I have been a notary and lawyer in the canton of Neuchâtel since 2008 with offices in Neuchâtel and La Chaux-de-Fonds.

What are the main challenges for your profession in the digital age?

We are facing the challenge of the e-notary… but the image of the notary as a dusty profession with piles of files has not necessarily disappeared.

Following the confinement imposed by the Covid-19 epidemic, the physical inability, due to legislative delays in some cantons, to sign documents electronically at a distance has led to criticism of a profession that is slow to equip itself with all the digital tools that are essential to its modernisation.

However, I remain convinced that the profession will remain indispensable in the future and it seems to me necessary to give priority to human relations in order to provide judicious and appropriate advice. The notary must invest in making “tailor-made” solutions for his clients.

Can you describe the legal co-ownership structure you are putting in place for the Foxstone business model?

In the Foxstone case, the steps taken were intended to guarantee legal certainty for future purchasers. Each Foxstone investor becomes a co-owner of a share of a building. The thinking behind this is simple: each investor must be independent of the other. The Foxstone model facilitates the transfer of ownership in the event of the sale of a share or the eventual death of an investor.

What is your opinion on real estate crowdfunding?

This mechanism allows all types of investors to invest in property and opens up new opportunities. I would like to quote the proverbial “there is strength in unity” and personally I think that crowdfunding is a success.

Can you describe the collaboration with Foxstone?

When you have 60 future buyers in a property purchase project, you obviously do not have the possibility of welcoming them all simultaneously in person.
It was therefore necessary to set up a mechanism to guarantee the smooth running of the transaction.
The implementation of “certification video conferences” with the help of Foxstone made it possible to secure the transaction.

This process makes it possible to guarantee the legal security of the transaction, to ensure that each buyer subscribes freely, is aware of his commitment and has understood the ins and outs of the process.

 How do you see the real estate transaction of the future from a notary’s perspective?

The specificity of the Swiss notary’s office currently depends on each canton.
For example, the canton of Neuchâtel unfortunately has no desire to move forward on the subject of the electronic signature, respectively the electronic deed.
Every profession has to move with the times, and I hope that our profession will also benefit from the advantages of blockchain.
However, digital development will not eliminate the human contacts that often facilitate the implementation of a solution adapted to the situation.

Our profession is all the more specific because the situations we encounter are never identical.

You will agree that most buyers will become homeowners only once in their lives and that they need to be accompanied, informed and helped in their efforts. It is usually a “purchase of a lifetime” and not the purchase of a bun at the bakery.

In the future, I imagine that the profession will become more digital, but we will continue to meet our customers. Our profession must not be trivialised.

Thank you to Mr. Stefan CHOFFAT, Notary and lawyer in the NOVA firm as part of the sale of the Cornaux building.

For more information, see our FAQ.

 

Ready to get started?
Create an account now without commitment to get access to our offers. It is free!
Sign up