A Notaire (Notary Public) is a legal specialist whose job is to draw up authenticated contracts on behalf of their clients. Notaires are self-employed professionals. This means each notaire or notary practice is responsible for their own offices and are paid by their clients.
They deal with:
- the family: such as marriage contracts, divorce, adoption
- property: such as buying and selling property
- inheritance: such as drawing up will and administering them, probate
- company law: notaires have a wide knowledge of business law
- municipal law: involved in and/or have knowledge in town planning, mayoral role, real-estate property (roads and buildings of the municipality), protection of trade
For a full description please refer to the Notaires de France website. Following the link will bring you to the English version of their site.
What can you expect to pay for a Notaire?
The ‘frais notaire’ is made up of taxes, expenses and the notaire’s remuneration. These are all under strict guidelines from the State.
- Taxes: are made up of State and Local Authority Taxes, Registration Fees and VAT (TVA in French) and make up approximately 80% of the fees.
- Expenses: are classified under Town Planning, Mortgage Registry, Surveyor and Land Registry and make up approximately 10% of the fees.
- Notaire Renumeration: make up approximately 10% of the fees out of which they must run the office: rent/repayment of purchasing loan, payment of employees, purchase of stationery and equipment.
VAT on property purchases are quite complex but are explained here at the official notaires’ site
For house purchasing the ‘frais notaire’ is variable affected by the age of the property, whether there is a secured/unsecured loan or no loan and whether the notaire is involved in negotiating with the buyer and seller.
Let’s consider one possible example; it has been agreed that a sale will go ahead in the Lot(department 46) for €200,000 of which €10,000 is for furniture and fittings (Fitted kitchen, cooking appliances etc). There is no negotiating carried out between the two parties and the buyer doesn’t need a loan.
The fees breakdown is approximately:
- Total payable notaire: €2,861 (VAT of €561) is added to this but will go to the State
- Total payable Public Revenue Dept (Tresor Public): €9,671
- Total fees for the Land Registry: €190
- Estimated Expenses: €400
This comes to a rounded total of €13,700 which represents 6.85% of the price of the house. This means that 5.21% of the sale price goes to the Tresor Public.
There are several eBooklets on offer which can be downloaded from the Notaire website.