How To Buy A Property In France & Monaco

How To Buy A Property In France & Monaco

Are you dreaming of buying a property in France or Monaco and spending your holidays or even all your days in your own French home? Knight Frank EN is the specialized real-estate agent capable of offering you a full range of solutions.

The French real-estate market is currently enjoying a period of strong growth and the number of properties available on the market regularly falls short of demand. The diversity of landscapes and architectural styles can't help but satisfy any expectations regarding a principal residence, a second home or rented property and with the help and services you can expect to enjoy from Knight Frank EN, you will find it easy and safe to purchase, sell or rent. Please also note that up to and including the signing of the contract for your new home, our services are totally free of charge to you as a purchaser. However, should you wish to use any of our wide range of optional after sales services then please request details and costs from Knight Frank EN.

The only difference between buying a property in Monaco compared with France is the fee structure, both the Notary and the Agents fees are a bit higher than when buying in France.

Whatever the region, type of property you're looking for or your budget, the wide variety of real estate available on the market means that you will always be able to find a property that corresponds to your criteria. But to help you make the acquisition process as trouble-free as possible, here are a few words of practical advice:

Decide your budget

What property at what price? This is the first question to be asked! Everything will depend on the region, the position of the property (overlooking the sea, for example), the kind of property (château, villa, hotel, apartment, investment) and its state of repair. In France, the price range is extremely wide for a house and garden.

How much can you borrow?

It's obviously important to determine how much you can put down immediately and make the necessary calculations to ascertain how much you need to borrow. It's easy to determine how much you can borrow by deciding how much you would like to reimburse every month. Remember that your monthly repayments should not exceed 30 to 40% of your monthly income. By using Knight Frank EN to arrange your financial needs we will make sure that you will benefit from our good bank relations in France. A loan in France would give you an interest rate of approx. 3.5% over 20 - 30 years on a 80% loan of the purchase price.

Find the house of your dreams

You can find the house of your dreams by using Knight Frank EN's services. Simply search our online database or fill out and send us the property preference form and we will conduct a detailed search for a property based on your specific wishes. Then, carry out a full and rigorous examination of the property and don't hesitate to take detailed notes that will help you to compare offers calmly and in your own time when you're ready to make a decision.

You decide to buy

You have found the property you would like to acquire? You now need to 'reserve' it, i.e. commit yourself by signing a contract, known as a "compromise de vente" (priliminary contract), or sign a "contrat de réservation" (reservation agreement) when buying new property. This stage is a major step and you will now be legally and financially committed with limited possibilities for withdrawing from the agreement. Your Knight Frank EN representative will help you through this process step-by-step and make sure you fully understand everything before signing.

Contrat de réservation - reservation agreement:

A contract - by virtue of which a buyer reserves a property to be purchased from plan. This provisional real-estate sales agreement is the legal equivalent of a compromis de vente.

Compromis de vente - provisional sales agreement:

This is a provisional contract used for the acquisition of a property or building land. This expression is habitually used for the promesse de vente (unilateral agreement to sell). This contract lists the names and addresses of the seller and buyer, their reciprocal obligations, the description of the property in question, its surface area and price. It also lists the conditions of avoidance making it possible to terminate the agreement, notably the buyer's failure to obtain a loan (or planning permission in the case of the acquisition of building land). If these conditions cannot be met, the agreement will be declared null and void. When the provisional sales agreement is signed, you will be asked to pay a deposit by the seller. If the buyer withdraws from the agreement before signing the legalized deed of conveyance, the seller is entitled to retain the deposit. If the seller wishes to withdraw from the agreement, he must pay the prospective buyer twice the sum of the deposit.

Take out a loan

Contact us for details of information required for taking out a loan, or see our Property Finance pages.

The deed of conveyance

A public notary who ensures that all legal provisions have been respected and guarantees the authenticity of the contract must draw up the deed of conveyance. The notary retains the deed of conveyance and gives a copy to both signatories. Allow up to 8 weeks between the signing of the provisional sales agreement to the moment you receive the final deed of conveyance. Knight Frank EN will join you at the notary meetings or do the notary meetings on your behalf to ensure that everything is done correctly.

Conveyance fees

Apart from expenses due to the public notary (invoices settled by the public notary on behalf of the purchaser), the purchaser must pay a main so-called transfer tax (taxe de mutation) equal to approximately 5% of the selling price, and various other taxes (property registration, stamp duty, VAT on new construction). These costs can amount to between 6.5% and 7% of the selling price, but again is subject to each project or property. Be sure to ask us for the details of the specific property you wish to purchase.


Don't forget that as a real-estate owner, you are responsible for any injuries or damage your property may cause to a third party (e.g. a tile falling on a passer-by, water damage) or capital loss. You must take out comprehensive household insurance.

Group acquisition

Perhaps you would like to join with others in acquiring a holiday home, perhaps with other members of your family or with friends. In this case, you would be advised to acquire a house by setting up a société civile immobilière (a non-trading real-estate investment company).