REDUCED LEGAL COSTS / STAMP DUTY (called frais de notaire in French)

How to calculate the price to pay in legal costs when you buy a new property in France?

Purchase fees, commonly called “notary fees”, benefit from a greatly reduced rate when you buy a new-build French property.

In reality, what we call French legal fees or “Frais de notaire” correspond to three types of fees:

1 / Taxes that come back to the French government like stamp duty
These are simply registration fees, or transfer taxes, the Land Tax, and VAT. These taxes are collected by the French notaire, but on behalf of the State, the notaire playing here a simple role of “tax collector” for French Revenue.
These amounts represent most of the French notary fees.

2 / The notary fees themselves (called “frais de notaire”)
It is the fees that correspond to his/her work, and are paid directly to the notaire. These fees are fixed by decree and therefore cannot, by definition, be determined freely and arbitrarily.

3 / The disbursements
These are the expenses currently incurred by the Notary when legalising the transfer of deeds between the developer and new owner, such as cadastral fees, the salary of the mortgage registrar, request for various administrative documents, etc …

How much do you pay in legal fees when buying a new-build French property?

With French new-build properties, legal notaire fees and stamp duty represent approximately 2/2.5% of the price of the property. This is very low to legal fees/stamp duty to be paid when buying a French resale property. In the French resale property market, the legal costs are much higher, since they amount to about 8% of the amount of the property price.

It is also very low compared to many other European countries. In Spain, for example, legal fees/stamp duties paid on new-build properties amount are around 10%.