Notaires have the responsibility of collecting fees and taxes on behalf of the State and delivering them to the public treasury, as well as taking their own cut from the total fee for their service.
The fee is more equivalent to Stamp Duty in the UK, and should be factored in to the purchase price, at an average rate of between 7.5-8.5% of the net vendor price.
Unlike in other countries where having lawyers involved in property buying is merely advisable, it cannot be done in France without a notaire.
The reason a notaire is needed is because they are the only ones who can register the transfer of ownership with the French land registry.
It is now possible to calculate how much the fees will be using the France's National Agency for Housing Information (ANIL) website.