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Notary fees

Understanding notary fees in France

Published on : 26/09/2022 26 September Sep 09 2022

Are you getting ready to buy property in France? Whether it's an apartment, a piece of land or a parking space, you will have to pay notary fees in addition to the purchase price.

Also called acquisition fees or transfer fees, these fees must be taken into account before making the purchase, because they increase the amount you will need to pay. For a previously owned house (any house that has already been lived in), the notary fees amount to about 7 to 8% of the price of the property. For a new home, the rate is 2 to 3%.

What are these taxes, disbursements and fees? We explain in this article.

  1. Taxes: 80% of the notary fees

Contrary to what the name suggests, only a small part of the notary fees are actually paid to the notary's office. This is because 80% of the fees consist of taxes paid to the Treasury, intended for the national and local governments (department and region).
They can be broken down as follows:
  • Registration fees and land property sale taxes: 4.50% of the sale price in all of France, except for 5 departments which have a rate of 3.80% (Mayotte, Martinique, Morbihan, Indre and Isère)
  • Additional local tax on registration fees: 1.20% of the sale price
  • Collection and recovery costs, which are 2.37% of the departmental tax
  • Contribution to real estate security, 0.1% of the sale
  1. Fees and disbursements: paying the parties involved in the transaction

Fees and disbursements represent the money advanced by the notary for their client, which is paid to the other parties involved in the transaction. These include:
  • surveyor's fees
  • land register fees
  • deed fees
  • urban planning documents
  • mortgage registration
  1. Emoluments: paying the notary

This last portion, which constitutes 10 to 20% of the notary fees, is the only portion that belongs to the notary and their office. For a real estate purchase, the notary fees will be the same, regardless of the notary you choose. The emoluments are calculated by price bracket, according to this scale:
Price bracket Percentage to be applied Amount to be added
Up to €6,500 3.870%  
From €6,501 to €17,000 1.596% €147.81
From €17,001 to €60,000 1.064% €238.25
Above €60,000 0.799% €397.25

VAT on emoluments: add 20% of the amount obtained above

For example, for a property purchased for €300,000, the
emoluments will be:

€300,000 € x 0.799% = €2,397

€2,397 + €397.25 = €2,794.25
€2,794.25 x 20% = €3,353.10

In this case, €3,353.10 will be payable to the notary office that handles your property acquisition. For a simulation of all the notary fees that you will have to pay, you can use this simulator.
  1. How to reduce notary fees

Once you see the total fees to be paid, your question is likely to be, “How can I pay less?”. To do this, we advise you to pay attention to two elements in particular.
  1. Pay the real estate agency fee separately

If you used a real estate agent to buy your apartment, these fees will be deducted from the notary fees if you pay them separately. To pay them separately, both the buyer’s and seller’s agency contracts must specify that the buyer is responsible for paying the real estate agency fees. If the seller has to pay them, they will be added to the total sale price, and therefore included in the calculation of the notary fees.
  1. Deduct the value of the furniture from the price of the home

A purchased home may contain various furnishings and equipment, which you can deduct from the sale price. Appliances, bathroom furniture and garden sheds are all equipment whose value you can estimate (based on invoices and purchase periods) and then deduct from the sale price of the property, and thus reducing notary fees.
Do you have questions about notary fees or how to reduce them? The notary office of Virginie Laidet is at your service.



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