Initial Costs of Purchasing Property

Understand the various fees and deposits you'll need to pay when purchasing property in France...

Whether you are buying for cash or with a mortgage there are some costs that must be funded by the buyer.

The deposit

In France, the payment of a deposit is not obligatory but in general it is asked for by the seller as a show of good faith. It is usually a maximum of 10 percent of the purchase price for older properties. The deposit does not have to be paid on the day the Compromis de vente is signed; it can be paid after the ten day retraction period has passed. The deposit can be sent either directly to the Notaire or to the estate agency if it has the correct status to accept money on behalf of a client. It should not be sent to the vendor. The deposit is held by the Notaire or Agent Immobilier until completion of the purchase.

Notaire fees

For an existing property, expect to pay around eight percent of the purchase price as the cost for the Notaire/legal fees. Notaire fees can only be included in the mortgage of French tax payers. Those paying tax in another country have to fund the Notaire fees themselves.

Agency fees

An amount between five and ten percent is charged and this amount is normally at the expense of the buyer; in some regions of France this may be paid by the seller or split between buyer and seller. Either way, the price of the property to the buyer remains the same.

When raising a mortgage, these fees can be included in the mortgage.


With information by Carole Bayliss Copyright © Carole & Tony Bayliss All Rights Reserved 2014 Updates and additions by Joan Jenkins, Gérante (Managing Director) ACTOUS IMMOBILIER SARL, 8 Grand Rue - 16240 Villefagnan