Real Estate Acquisition Process

Real Estate Acquisition Process

The process of buying property in Monaco is transparent and clear, even though it differs slightly from the standard process of acquiring property in other European countries, in particular bordering France.

All transactions are carried out only under the supervision of a public notary. There are only 3 of them in Monaco, as they are appointed by Royal Decree, and act on behalf of the state. Their presence is required at every stage of the transaction, from the time of receipt of an offer to the moment the property is legally transferred to the new owner. This participation of the notary is essential as he must certify the legality of the transfer of title to the property, thereby guaranteeing the protection of the rights of the buyer and seller on behalf of the State.

It is worth highlighting the 2 main stages of the purchase of real estate in the Principality: a written offer, signed by both parties and the conclusion of the contract of sale in the presence of a notary, confirming the legal transfer of title to the new owner.

Offer to buy property in Monaco

The real estate agent is responsible for the process of negotiating and preparing the documents to close the deal. Unlike in some countries, in Monaco an offer to buy only in written form prepared by the agency. This proposal proves the seriousness of the buyer and must include such important aspects as:

  • A detailed description of the property. 
  • Suggested price for the property. 
  • Name of agency. 
  • The term of the offer. 
  • Details of the buyer's ID/passport. 
  • Place of residence of the buyer. 
  • Real estate agency commission payable by the buyer.
  •  Existence of conditionality.
  • A deposit is made to confirm you are serious about purchasing the property. A cheque or bank transfer is made to the notary chosen by both parties immediately after the offer is approved and accepted. This amount is usually 10% of the value of the property.
A written offer to purchase the property, is mandatory. The buyer signs this offer in the presence of the agency, which is then handed over to the owner. If the offer is approved by the property owner, it becomes legally binding for both parties. It is important to note that if after signing the offer to buy, the buyer decides to withdraw from the transaction, the deposit will not be returned to him. The same rule applies in the opposite case. If the seller withdraws, the notary will return the deposit paid to the buyer, and the buyer also has the legal right to request a refund of the amount equal to the deposit.

The act of sale of real estate

After the written offer is handed in and the deposit is made, the notary prepares the deed of sale. It takes about two months to verify the legal purity of the transaction and to comply with all sorts of formalities involved in the re-registration. After preparing all the documents for sale, the notary invoices the buyer and appoints a date to sign in his presence. At this point, the following payments must be made by the buyer:

The balance of the amount of the value of the property

Notary fees and stamp duty (currently approximately 6.5% of the transaction amount).
 Real estate agency fees (3% of the transaction amount + 20% VAT).


When acquiring a property worth 5 million euros, the buyer must be prepared to pay notary fees and real estate agency commission of approximately 500,000 euros (320,000 euros to the notary and 180,000 euros including VAT to the real estate agent).

Legal transfer of rights to real estate

The notary public must confirm the authenticity of the documents by certifying them with his seal and signature. It is he who is personally responsible for the content and date of the contract of sale before the Principality. Only then does the legal transfer of title take place and the buyer receives a certificate of ownership.

Our buyers have access to Monaco's entire property database through one of our agencies and at no extra cost.

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