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A guide to fees when buying a house in France

Buying property in France – what costs are involved?

Are you hoping to buy a property in France soon? Either as your main residence or a holiday home? Before diving in, it’s a good idea to understand the different kinds of fees you will have to pay, to avoid any nasty surprises.

So I’ve created a guide to the fees involved when buying property in France.

Traditional fees

  1. Agency fees

Many sellers will use an estate agency to sell their property and while it may seem logical that the seller pays for it, it is often the buyer who pays. (It might not be indicated, but if a property is worth €200,000 and the agency fees are €16,000, the agency will often advertise the property price at €216,000.). The agency fees are usually 7-8% of the sale price, but this can vary.

Please note, if you buy via an individual, you will not pay these fees.

2. Notaire costs

When buying property, using a notaire (a solicitor) is obligatory. If you’d like more information on their role, take a look at my previous blog post here. For older properties, notaire fees are generally between 6 to 8% of the sale price. However, for new properties, notaire fees are usually 2-3% – quite a difference!

3. Deposit

Similar to the UK, a deposit of 10% is usually required when buying property. This should be paid after the 10-day cooling-off period following the signing of the compromis de vente (more information here) by the seller and the buyer.

4. Currency conversion

For many foreigners buying in France, they will need to transfer their money into euros. This can be an expensive process and is completely subject to fluctuating exchange rates. However nowadays, there are many companies out there on hand to help foreigners plan ahead to avoid significant fees when transferring money, so it’s worth getting in touch with them.

Other fees

  1. Translation fees

Don’t sign anything until you’ve read the small print! This is an essential step in the house-buying process abroad. Understanding everything in the contract is vital to ensure you know exactly what you’re signing, so make sure you contact a qualified and experienced translator. If you’d like a quote, please contact me at clara@onittranslations.com or via the contact form.

2. Costs you’ll pay after you buy your property

Aside from your standard bills and living costs, there are two types of French tax you need to know about. Taxe d’habitation and taxe foncière. Taxe d’habitation is an annual residence tax, similar to council tax in the UK. However, the French government are in the process of removing this tax and it should be abolished by 2023. Taxe foncière is annual land tax which is calculated using a variety of factors. It’s important to be aware of these two types of taxes, as they can be quite expensive and a bit of a surprise in your first year of owning a home in France!

For more information about these property taxes, take a look at this article by French-Property.com.

So there we have it, a summary of the fees you’ll have to pay when buying a property in France.

Here at ON IT Translations, I have a variety of blog posts to help you along the way when buying property in France. For information on the most important French property terms, take a look here, or if you’d like to know how to read a French property ad, see here.

If you’re in the process of moving to France and need some help with translation or interpretation, send me an email at clara@onittranslations.com.

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