Reader question: I understand that notaires can also sell property in France. Is it generally cheaper to sell via a notaire rather than an estate agent? Is the commission for a notaire sale fixed or negotiable?
It depends – and the only way to find out for sure is to go to a local estate agent and notaire to ask.
In the past, a notaire’s property portfolio was mainly from family matters, especially wills, where inheritors would leave the property with the notaire to sell.
Commissions were fixed – 6% for sums up to €45,735 and 3% for over that.
Fixed commissions were stopped in 2016 and notaires are now free to ask what they like when they sell property, ranging from 4% to 10%. The higher commissions are usually for cheaper properties.
Notaires have also set up an official property website: immobilier.notaires.fr. It is notable for having some ‘ruins’, which do not often make estate agent sites.
French estate agencies continue to flourish in spite of competition from notaires, online agencies, and direct property sales sites like Particulier à Particulier.
As always, their commissions depend on whether they are given an exclusive mandate to sell a property or not. This is usually under 5% compared to 6% to 8% for a non-exclusive mandate. Around 20% of estate agent portfolios are exclusive mandates.