When selling a property in Nice you have two main costs: agency fee and capital gains tax. If you live outside the EEA you will also need fiscal representation. You also have one small fixed cost, around €350, for certificates certifying you have done all the legally required tests on the property.
Estate Agency Fee
In Nice the agency fee is usually 5% of the sale price (4% for the agency + 20% VAT). Under €150,000 the commission may be more. This is split 50/50 between the listing agency and buyer agency upon a sale. This is only paid upon completion of a sale.
What do you get for this?
First of all the agency pays for all advertising. This includes magazines, newspapers, brochures, online, etc. They should take professional photos, and this will be free of charge. There should be no up-front costs to selling an apartment apart from getting the legally required tests done. There are optional extras you can pay to have done that can give your property an advantage, such as having floor plans drawn up.
Second they get you the best possible sale price. The estate agent can give advice, but the owner sets the initial price. The estate agent should accurately estimate the true value, and what the price point should be to sell within different time frames. Naturally they take care of all the visits, filtering out time-wasters and unreasonable offers. A good estate agent should make you more than he or she costs.
Third they take care of all the legal paperwork.
Is there a way to reduce the agency fee? Yes but at the point of engaging the agent is not necessarily the best time to do it. A good agent is unlikely to move on the fee. However, sometimes the agent will make a concession on his commission to help make the sale go through if a sale is stuck with buyer and seller only a few thousand euros apart.
There is no requirement to use an agency but nearly every single seller in Nice does. The “for sale by owner” (or FSBO) sites are a wasteland compared to the main property portals. Generally people tell an agent how much they want in their pocket (called “net vendeur”) and let the agency their fee on top.
Read more here about engaging an estate agency in Nice, France.