How to buy Monaco property

While Monaco may be the smallest country in the world, it is an unrivalled destination to reside in. In 2020 Monaco remained the most expensive location to purchase property worldwide, with an average price of €47,600 per sq m. While the cost of living may be exceptionally high, many residents choose to buy Monaco property as a safe haven for investment.

As the leading experts in Monaco properties for sale, we have put together a complete guide to buying Monaco property to help make the process seamless. Discover the process of buying a house in Monaco below.

Why buy a property in Monaco?

Whether you are seeking a duplex penthouse with panoramic sea views, hotel residences that are fully serviced or a Belle Epoque villa, properties in Monaco are amongst the most sought-after in the world. A Monaco property also offers superb access to Monaco’s finest offerings, including award-winning dining, luxury shopping, yachting scene and world-renowned casinos. 

Aside from the exceptional selection of properties in Monaco, residents can enjoy a favourable tax regime, unbeatable security, a lavish Mediterranean lifestyle, and excellent healthcare. As such, Monaco is one of the most enticing places to take up residence.

How to buy Monaco property

1. Appoint a reputable real estate agent 

The first step to buying a Monaco property is to appoint a trusted real estate agent with in-depth knowledge of Monaco’s highly demanding property market. Ageprim is a key player in the Monegasque luxury real estate market, carving its reputation with a high-end international clientele through passion, seriousness and discretion. Since 1980, Ageprim has grown an exceptional portfolio of Monaco real estate for sale and can assist with all property matters.

2. Offer to purchase

To buy a house in Monaco, Ageprim will prepare a written purchase proposal and agree terms. The proposal includes a detailed description of the property, the asking price and the timescales to completion. To demonstrate commitment to the purchase, buyers should submit a cheque for 10% or a bank transfer of the value of the purchase price to the Notary’s escrow account. This serves as a deposit and will be cashed upon acceptance. Should the buyer withdraw, the deposit will be lost. 

That said, faced with a defaulting seller, the deposit is handed back and the Notary will force the seller to pay compensation for the same amount. In this case, a procedure to force the seller to go through the actual sale may be considered.

It is essential to note that while French property buyers get ten days after their offer is accepted to pull out of the purchase without penalty, Monaco has no such period. It is, therefore, essential to be entirely sure about the Monaco property you want to buy before making an offer. 

3. Select a Notary 

Once the buyer’s offer has been accepted in writing by the seller, both parties should select a Monaco Notary, a legal authority responsible for drawing up the deed for the property and getting signatures from the buyer and seller. In Monaco, there are currently three Notaries to choose from. That said, it is also possible to appoint the same Notary to act for both parties. 

In addition to the Notary, the buyer may appoint a lawyer to assist with certain aspects of the purchase, such as estate planning or language translation.

4. Preliminary sales agreement

At this stage, both parties are now legally binded through the initial offer to purchase. However, while it is not obligatory in every case, the option is left to the two parties to agree on the signing of a sales agreement, also known as the ‘Compromis de Vente’. The ‘Compromis’ will refer to conditions precedent that, unless satisfied, will allow the buyer to withdraw within a fixed period. The conditions may concern obtaining financing, making physical modifications, or planning matters. The property may also be subject to pre-emptive rights to purchase by the government, in which case the sale cannot take place earlier than within a months’ time or when said rights are waived. 

5. Land registration 

Ageprim will then pass the following stages of buying Monaco property over to the Notary, who will search the Monaco Land Registry to ensure that the seller legally owns the property and can therefore sell it. They will also check whether there are regulations that could impact the property and your purchase of it as a result. The Notaire will also ensure that the land title is transferred from the seller to the buyer by checking with the Monaco Land Registry.

6. Completing the purchase

The process of buying a house in Monaco is finally complete when the deed is transferred to the buyer and signed in the presence of the Notaire at their office. That said, if the buyer cannot attend in person, they may be allowed to sign from elsewhere through a power-of-attorney exception prepared by the Notaire. The buyer will also pay the balance of the property for sale and any fees, including registration, agent and Notary fees.

Typically, with a “second-hand” property, costs and fees will amount to 6% of the purchase price and are expected to be paid for by the buyer. This cost comprises registration duty (4.5%) and notarial fees (1.5%). This rate also applies where individuals or a Monaco SCI make the purchase. 

However, a higher rate of 7.5% registration duty applies if a foreign company makes the acquisition. In addition, there will be notarial fees of 1.5% producing a total due of 9%.

In some cases –  where the property is new or under construction – registration duty will not apply. Instead, the sale price will include value-added tax (TVA) at 20%. Notarial fees and transcription duty amounting to 2.5% will be due, payable by the buyer, regardless of whether the buyer is an individual or a corporation.

 Upon the day of the final signatures, the property should also be pre-insured by the buyer to safeguard against any unforeseen circumstances.

7. Registration of the new property 

Once everything has been signed and all payments are made, the Notaire will register the Monaco property for sale with the Monaco Land Registry. Between the time when the deed is signed and the property is registered, the buyer will receive an Attestation de Vente, which is a completion certificate that shows proof of ownership. After this, the owner can make the most of life in one of the most desirable locations in the world.

Ageprim real estate agents; experts in Monaco property for sale

Ageprim puts all of its experience and know-how behind one single goal: your satisfaction. We boast a superb portfolio of Monaco properties for sale, as well as superb off-market properties. If you are looking to buy a Monaco property and would like to understand more about the process, our Monaco real estate agents would be happy to assist you every step of the way.