Notably, as part of the Loi Marcon; a drive to make France more commercially competitive, reforms are being made to French Notaire’s fees. As someone who is authorised to carry out specific legal formalities, a Notaire is integral in all property transactions (and the purchasing of land) in France.
From1 May 2016 Notaires will be able to offer a discount on their fees. This may well prove to be advantageous to buyers of French property. The change will mean that as of 1 May 2016, the maximum fee a Notaire will be able to charge is 10% of the sale price. (There will be a minimum fee of €90.) It is likely that the best savings may well be made on purchases of property and land of lower value.
The reform will also mean that for sales over €150,000, Notaires will be able to offer a discount of up to 10% on their fees. However, this will be conducted at their discretion and they are not legally obliged to inform the buyer that this discount is available. The onus is with the buyer to establish this at the outset of the proceedings and also to obtain written confirmation of any discount that has been agreed.
Furthermore, where the sales of commercial or residential property is to be used for social purposes over €10m, the Notaire can offer a discount of up to 40% on their fees. This is also at the Notaire’s discretion and any discounts agreed between the Notaire and property buyers should be given in writing.
It should be noted that these discounts only apply to the fee the Notaire obtains. There are taxes and registration fees which make up the bulk of the costs, also known as the ‘Frais de Notaire’ are not affected and there is no discount on them. The discounts also do not relate to new builds.
It is always advised that qualified legal advice be sought concerning any changes in fees or for further information on the purchase of property or land in France.
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