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Real estate acquisition costs


Real estate acquisition costs, which are mistakenly known as "notaire's fees ", are added to the purchase price of real estate.

In principle, they are paid by the buyer; only a small percentage is paid to the notaire.

  • Why is the term "notaire's fees " used?

    • Real estate acquisition costs consist mainly of tax which is paid to the state. However, they are often referred to as "notaire's fees". This linguistic slip is easy to explain. Although these sums are not intended for the notaire (except for a small percentage), it is the notaire who is responsible for collecting them on behalf of the state. The notaire then pays them to the Inland Revenue.

  • What do the acquisition costs cover?

    • The acquisition costs comprise:

      Taxes and duties (referred to as registration fees [droits d’enregistrement]), which relate to the acquisition of the property and are paid to the Inland Revenue.
      They are paid to the state or the local authority, depending upon the case. Calculated by reference to the value of the property, the amount varies from one geographical location to another;

      Costs and disbursements .
      These are paid by the notaire on behalf of the client to various individuals and agencies that have responsibility for producing the documents that are required to record the change of ownership (registrar at the land charges registry, registration of mortgages , land registry fees, town planning documents, copy of an extract from the land register, surveyor, managing agent, etc.).

      The notaire's own remuneration (referred to as the notaire's "émoluments").
      This is set in accordance with a scale determined by decree. It is in proportion to the sale price of the property (approximately 1.33%).
      To this are added the fees charged for certain administrative steps (checks on civil status, town planning certificate, a copy of the authentic instrument recording the sale, etc.).

  • What is new in this field?

    • The acquisition costs rose on 1 March 2014 by 0.7 points. On that date, this temporary optional increase came into effect in 66 of the 101 French departments.

    • Since then, other departments have followed suit.

    • The Finance Law for 2014 authorised general councils that so wished to increase the transfer duty that each buyer has to pay on the purchase of a property from 3.8% to 4.5% for two years. This means that a buyer might, for example, pay an additional €1,400 when purchasing a property worth €200,000.

    • It should be noted that the notaire's remuneration has not changed.

  • Calculate real estate purchasing fees


Before you embark upon a property transaction, do not hesitate to consult your notaire. Ask them for a projected calculation of the costs that will arise in connection with the sale. Ask them to calculate any other costs that should be anticipated, particularly, if you seek a loan from your bank. Notaires perform a public service and, in consequence, are required to charge in accordance with a mandatory price list which is set by the Minister of Justice and which applies throughout France. Only the notaire can provide you with more detailed information.

See also
Conseil du coin : meet a french notaire to a cafe !
French property market report / N°37
Marius Kohler nouveau president des notaires d'europe - Janvier 2018
New Presidency of the CNUE
French property market report of Notaires de France - January 2018
French property market report / N°38