The Cost of Buying a Property in France


Summary of Fees

When buying a property in France it is easy to get overwhelmed by the various costs involved. It can also be difficult to define the exact costs of an individual service, and furthermore, to know what you should pay for each service. This article endeavours to breakdown the various costs involved in buying a property and give the average prices.

Notaire’s Fees:

The overall fee that the notaire will receive is broken down into three categories:

1. The majority of the fees (usually about 40 %) go to the notaire for his time and work.

Table: Example of notaire’s fees for a €120,000 house

Scale Rate Amount
from €0 to €6,500 4% €260,00
from €6,500 to €17,500 1.65% €173,25
from €17,000 to €30,000 1.1% €143,00
from €30,000 to €120,000 0.825% €742,50
Total fees before tax €1 318,75
Total fees with VAT €1 577,23

2. Percentage which the Trésor (government) receive (usually about %). For sales of €120,000 the estimated fee would €330,65.

3. Other parties including surveyors and land registry (receive usually about %). For sales of €120,000 the estimated fee would €339,83.

Tax applicable for re-sale properties over 5 years old:Department tax – 3.6%

Town tax – 1.2%

Plate fee – 2.5%

State government 0.2%

Total – 5.09%

New Build properties:

VAT – 20%

Ownership Tax – 0.715%

Plots of land:

Without planning permission – no VAT, land rights 5.09%. If the land is not to be built on there will be a further charge of 20%.

Land with planning permission – VAT

Solicitors’ fees range from

Estate Agents’ fees range from 4- to 10% of the property purchase price. The average is around 6%. For example the following fees are quite average. May 08. They include Estate Agent’s fees and exclude notary fees:

Transaction Estate Agent’s fees excluding VAT Estate Agent’s fees including VAT
Up to €50,000 €4020 €5000
€50,000 to €80,000 8.04% 10%
€80,000 to €130,000 7.24% 9%
€130,000 to €180,000 6.43% 8%
From €180,000 5.63% 7%

Translation fees will depend upon the extent of the translation and varies between translators. Usually they will range from £10 to £50 per hour. The cost will also depend on whether you are paying by the hour, or per word, or per line. For example, if translating per words, you can expect to pay between £60 and £250 depending on the length of the document/ contract – with the Acte de Vente being at the higher end of the scale for example. If you would like to have a translator present during the signing of contracts, the cost will be dependent upon whether or not they include petrol and travel costs and time in the fee, and whether they charge by the hour or ask for a set fee. Please contact a translator for a quote:

Surveyor fees on average, range from €500 to €1500 (depending on the size of the property and the location), although they can be slightly higher in certain areas. For an average stone house, up to four bedrooms the average price is around €900 larger houses can cost around €200 more. Some surveyors will charge separately for petrol, while others will include it in the price.

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Sylvia is a freelance journalist based in France, focusing on business and culture. A valued member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia is a regular contributor to our publication.

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