We have tried to outline below the various costs and fees to account for when buying or selling a property in France. The list is by no means exhaustive but serves as shortlist of things to remember.



The legal fees or notaire’s fees – these are always paid for by the purchaser and include land registration fees, stamp duties and any French Government taxes.

On new build properties these levied at a reduced rate, but TVA may be payable.

On resale properties Notaires fees and registration taxes will be roughly 6.7%. Click here to access a useful tool which will help you calculate the amount of the fees that you are likely to pay.

The sales commission– If purchased through an estate agent the commission must be included in the asking price and would normally be paid by the seller. An estate agent should not charge you a fee for visiting the property with you, negotiating the deal, explaining the contract to you, going to the signature of the contract or for helping you with your utilities. These fees should be included in their commission. If you are charged a separate “package fee” for these services ask why.

Tip:Purchasers can reduce the notairial fees by asking to pay the agency fees. The figure is then stripped out of the sale price and notairial fees are calculated on the lower figure.

Mortgage fees: if you are obtaining a Mortgage for your French property purchase. This may be factored into the repayments.


Expertise fees – for the package of diagnostic searches done to the house prior to signature of the purchase contract.

Capital gains tax – if there is any to pay the Notaire will calculate and deal with this issue. For non-tax-paying residents a guaranty is required from a registered organization, which asseses the amount of tax due and stands guarantee for any additional taxes.

Final electricity, telephone and water bills.

Household removal fees.

Any storage charges if your belongings need to be stored for a while.


Solicitor’s fees in the UK – legal fees if you choose to employ a solicitor in the UK, Ireland or elsewhere.

Surveyor’s fees: if you choose to have the house surveyed – it is not normal procedure to have a house surveyed in France prior to signature and this therefore is for the charge of the purchaser if he wishes to employ a surveyor.

Taxe Fonciere – this can be paid up front at the signature of contract for the amount due for the current year. The total is shared pro rata for the calendar year.

Immediate after purchase costs to budget for:

Household-removal fees.

Utility fees – once you have bought, the cost of having the electricity, water and telephone installed transferred into your name.