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Everything you need to know about French notaire's fees

PUBLISHED: 11:08 11 November 2019

There's a common misconception surrounding French notaire's fees ©Robin S/ Getty Images

There's a common misconception surrounding French notaire's fees ©Robin S/ Getty Images

S ROBIN

What are notaire's fees? Are they the same everywhere? Can they be reduced? Read on to find out.

Real estate website SeLoger has released a guide to French notaire's fees, and the common misconceptions that people often have of them. Here's our handy break down of the key points.

First, they're not really notaire's fees

It's a common misconception that the additional fees when you purchase a French property all go to the notaire. This isn't the case: what we think of as notaire's fees are actually acquisition costs, and the larger portion of them is composed of levies and taxes paid to the Public Treasury, according to Notaires.fr. The notaire is the one who collects the fees, but they only receive a small percentage. The remuneration of the notaire, known as emoluments, stands at 1.33% for acts of sale.

Although the fee is non-negotiable, some departments such as Morbihan have a slightly lower tax ©kruwt/Getty ImagesAlthough the fee is non-negotiable, some departments such as Morbihan have a slightly lower tax ©kruwt/Getty Images

How much are the fees?

According to Elodie Fremont speaking in the SeLoger article, 'notaire's fees' are not negotiable, and tend to be 7 or 8% of the sale price. However, as a large portion of the fees is given over to departmental taxes, the amount paid can depend on the department. The majority of departments charge 4.5%, as of 2014, however some charge slightly more, and some (Indre, Isère, Morbihan and Mayotte) only charge 3.8%.

Another factor in determining the 'notaire's fees' is whether the property is a new-build. For new properties, the fees are just 2 or 3% since the majority of taxes do not apply, and in some cases the property developer will even pay the fee. However this smaller fee should not be taken at face value, since new-builds typically cost more than older properties so proportionally there is little difference.

Can notaire's fees be reduced?

While the percentage taxes paid to the state and authorities cannot be changed, says Elodie Fremont, the costs can be reduced by lowering the taxable amount. This involves reducing the price of the property. The main way to do so, according to Elodie, is to deduct any furniture, such as a fitted kitchen, from the price. As long as this doesn't exceed 5% of the total price, this means that the amount on which the fee will be calculated is lower.

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