Fees in buying a property in France

Buying a Property in France: the Fees to be paid and by who?

The main factors
The fees associated with buying a property in France can be alarming. This page provides a checklist of what you as a buyer can expect to pay.

The main factors that affect the level of fees are:
- the age of the property (new houses attract lower charges)
- the number of people involved (lawyers, mortgage companies, surveyors etc)
- whether you buy or not, through an estate agent
What allowance should I leave for fees?
Total fees can be as low as 1% of the price of the property, but can be as high as 20%. Typically, you can expect to pay around 6-8% of the net value of the property on an older property and around 2-3% on a new build (less than five years old). Please note that most fees are paid by the buyer. However, since the introduction of a series of diagnostic tests on any property to be advertised for sale, the seller too has a liability to bear this cost (see below).
Estate Agent Sales Commission (usually paid by the buyer of the property)
Where an agent is involved - allow between 3 and 8%
Notaire Sales Commission (usually paid by the buyer)
Where an Estate agent is not used - allow up to 5% only for resale properties for new build properies hardly 2%
Notaires' Conveyancing Fees (paid by the buyer)
A Notaire's fees are calculated on a sliding scale. Thus, the higher the price of the property, the lower the percentage the Notaire will take. The amount is usually in the region of 1% (plus TVA at 19.6%).
Notaire fee percentages:
Up to 6,500 Euros - 4.784%
From 6,501 to 17,000 Euros - 1.9734%
From 17,001 to 30,000 Euros - 1.3156%
From 30,001 Euros - 0.9867%
The other fees that are paid to the Notaire but do not, in fact, ultimately go to the Notaire, are fees for stamp duty, land registry fees and other disbursements. All the Notaire's fees are usually paid by the buyer, even if the Notaire acts for both parties, which is normal as they are not supposed to protect the interests of either party over the other. If the seller instructs a different Notaire to the buyer, the fee for both Notaires is paid by the buyer. (In this case the work and fee is split between the two Notaires, it does not mean a higher cost for Notaires' fees.)
Stamp Duty (paid by the buyer)
0.7% for property less than five years old, 5.09% for older properties. This is included in the fees paid to the Notaire.
Land registry (paid by the buyer)
Land registry fees are approximately 4.89%. These are included in the fees paid to the Notaire.
Safer (paid by the buyer)
Safer is the agricultural organisation who may become involved if the property has a certain amount of land over one hectare. Any associated cost is usually included in the fees paid to the Notaire and is usually only a few hundred Euros.
New Diagnostic Tests or Diagnostics Immobiliers (paid by the seller)
Unusually for France, the burden of payment for these does not fall on the buyer, but on the seller. Before a property is advertised, approved experts must be called to report on the energy efficiency, presence of dangerous and outdated materials such as asbestos, tests on the provision for gas, electricity and sewage, and tests to establish if there is evidence of termite activity or other natural risks. Costs vary from area to area and from expert to expert, but expect to pay between 400-900 Euros for a Dossier Diagnostique Technique, or DDT. (Diagnostic Immobilier and selling property in France.)
Possible Additional Costs
Structural Surveys: It is not common practice in France to have a structural survey performed before buying a property, but the buyer has this option at his own expense should he wish. They vary greatly in price according to size of property etc. but as a rough guide, a basic survey may be as little as 200 Euros, while a full survey could be as much as 1,500 Euros or even higher for a very large property.
Legal Advice: If there are complicated clauses in the sale, or other complex issues, additional legal advice may be required, again at additional expense. This cost may be paid by both buyer and seller, or one or the other. Legal fees vary hugely, depending on the solicitor and also on how much work is involved.
Geometra's charge: This may or may not be necessary to ascertain and mark or realign the exact boundaries of the property, for example if the seller has sold some of his land, or if the boundaries are unclear. Expect to pay around 200 Euros for a simple job on an average sized property, more for a more complex job. This charge is paid by the seller.
Additionally if you need a French mortgage:
Mortgage Arrangement and Administration Fee - Commonly 2%
Mortgage Registration Fee - Commonly 1-2%
Mortgage Insurance - Commonly around 0.5%

You are planning to buy a property in France? you have more question?
Please contact us info@frenchpropertyinvest.com and will try our best to revert to you within 3 working days with answers