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Real estate: Who pays what when buying a home?

Real estate: Who pays what when buying a home?

Whether you are buying or selling real estate, you will inevitably have to bear various ancillary costs. The key is to determine which ones are your responsibility, in order to anticipate the amount of the envelope to be provided and not to be taken aback.

Buyer's side

The buyer logically bears very heavy costs during a real estate transaction since, in addition to the price of the property, he must pay what are unfairly called “notary fees”. In reality, these costs essentially consist of various taxes levied on behalf of the State (transfer duties, disbursements, land publication, etc.), while a small part actually goes to the notary (emoluments). The addition represents between 7 and 8% of the sale price in old real estate, against 2 to 3% if you opt for the new market.

Although this is very rare, be aware that you can make an agreement with the seller to pay the notary fees. But you will have to be very convincing, especially since the latter also bears his share of bills.

On the seller's side

Multiple costs indeed reduce the gain made during a real estate sale, without even counting the possible penalties for early repayment of the credit which was used to finance this property (limited to 3% of the capital remaining due since 1999) .

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At a minimum, the seller must pay several hundred euros to have all the mandatory diagnostics imposed by law carried out. Similarly, if the accommodation is located in a condominium, it will be necessary to provide the notary with a "dated statement" summarizing all the charges related to this lot and the amount of which has been capped at 380 euros since 2020.

Moreover, if you use a real estate agency, it will in principle be up to you to pay their fees (between 4 and 8% of the sale price). That said, nothing prevents you from agreeing with the buyer for half and half support. In all cases, the agency's mandate must clearly indicate who is responsible for paying the commission.

In practice, owners are often tempted to overestimate the value of their property to compensate for the cost of the intermediary's commission. A strategy with lower costs but which presents the risk of lengthening the transfer times by discouraging potential buyers and increasing price negotiations.

A pro rata distribution

Owning a property necessarily entails a certain number of annual costs. In the event of a sale during the year, it is then customary for the buyer to bear part of these costs. But be careful to negotiate it with the other party from the start.

On the local tax side, the housing tax and the property tax can thus be the subject of a “pro rata temporis” clause, specified from the compromise and reaffirmed in the authentic deed of sale. It then means that everyone assumes these costs according to the time spent in the accommodation during the year concerned. In the event of a co-ownership, it is in principle up to the seller and current owner to assume the costs of the trustee's last call for funds. Nevertheless, a pro rata distribution can, here again, be agreed with the buyer.

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