In theory, a notary acts as a ‘neutral’ party and works for the French government. He or she will execute a variety of tasks, amongst others making sure taxes are paid, check for any debt, rights or claims associated with the property.
The costs of a notary are determined by French law and are always paid for by the buyer. These costs go by the name “Les emoluments”. Besides these predetermined costs, notaries are allowed to charge additional fees for other services like price negotiations. These charges (or “honoraires”) are always communicated by the notary. The average costs of a notary in France amounts to 7% of the listing price of a property. More than half of this cost consists of transfer taxes.
Besides these taxes, there are also registration rights and agency fees that you should take into account. Unless otherwise agreed, the agency fee will be paid by the seller. As a rule of thumb, you should add 14% to 16% of the listing price to take all these costs into account. You can find more detailed information about these fees in our ‘Purchasing costs’-section.
If you wish to be represented by your own notary, that is an option to! In this case a second notary will get involved. If this second notary is French, the commission of the transaction (emoluments) will be remain the same and gets shared by the notaries. However, it is important to mention that there might be more ‘additional fees’ (honoraires) that get charged. Even more, if you involve another ‘foreign’ notary, there will be additional costs to.