The notaire

A notaire is a sort of solicitor who does all the conveyancing in France – you cannot do your own conveyancing here. Whenever you buy or sell a property, regardless of who you are buying from, the actual sale is done via a notaire. He does the searches, checks ownership etc and registers the sale.

The notaire who handles a sale is usually appointed by the vendor. This is normal; the notaire actually works for the Government and has a duty to remain impartial to both sides. However, the buyer pays the notaire’s fees, and so if you as buyer wish to choose a notaire yourself, you can do so. If you have a different notaire to the vendor, the fees are still the same.

Notaire’s fees amount to approximately 8% of the purchase price of the property (note that the percentage will be more if it is a very cheap property). Most of the fees consist of Government taxes that the notaire passes on to the state after the sale.

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