Buying property in the South of France is a dream come true for many. Not only does this glorious part of the world offer beautiful scenery, picturesque beaches, fine wines, and some of the most delicious food in all of Europe, but French property has real character to it. From luxury villas to countryside chateaus to beach-side apartments – there’s something special about property in France that makes it so easy to fall in love with.


If you’ve been struck by Cupid’s arrow, you’ll likely be looking at the list prices of a few homes and are considering laying down a few offers. However, what’s important to remember when buying a property in the South of France is that there are many additional costs involved. 


In this post, we’ll look at what those costs are so you can have a better idea whether the home you want is within your budget. 

Notaire Fees

The first thing to be aware of are the frais de notaire (notary fees). These cover both taxes and the actual notaire fee itself – but are bundled together so you pay them as one. 


The fee the notaire takes is around 1% – though the higher the sale price, the lower the percentage. The table below shows approximate fees payable at increasing sales values – however, be aware that in each case you will need to add TVA (VAT) at 20%. 


Image showing the notaries fees for buying property in the south of France

(Image source:


On top of these, you will also pay for the droits d’enregistrement, which is the equivalent of stamp duty, as well as land registry costs. 


In all, the frais de notaire (including registration fees and taxes) typically fall between 7% and 10% of the of the purchase price of older properties (properties over five years old), whereas the fees for new builds being sold for the first time stand at around 2% (plus VAT). 

Estate Agent Fees

The next cost you need to be aware of are real estate agent fees, which typically range from 5% to 10% of the sale price.


Importantly, not all estate agents include their commission in the listed price – and sometimes it’s you, the buyer, that has to pay them. If you see the letters “FAI” in the advertisement, this stands for frais d’agence inclus, which means the fees are included. If you don’t, it’s likely that you will be responsible for paying the fees.

Legal Fees

Though it’s not absolutely necessary to source legal representation for property purchases in the South of France, you may feel more comfortable doing so – particularly if you don’t speak French. 


If you employ a lawyer that speaks the language, you’ll be able to have everything explained to you in terms you understand, so you know exactly what you’re signing. 

Currency Exchange

The final thing to consider is the cost of converting your money to pay not only for the house, but all the other fees that come with it. Of course, exchange rates fluctuate regularly, so it may be worth considering approaching a currency exchange company that allows you to fix your rate ahead of the exchange so you will know exactly what you’ll have to pay. 


Buying Property in the South of France? Chartered Surveyor Charles Mackintosh Is at Your Service


For more information on fees when buying property in the South of France, get in touch with Charles Mackintosh. With over 30 years’ experience living and operating in the region, Charles provides highly regarded English language property surveys and advice for overseas buyers.