Police are investigating claims that Lagarde, when French Finance Minister under Nicolas Sarkozy, acted illegally in approving the €285m arbitration payout to Bernard Tapie.
Lagarde denies any wrongdoing.
“This search will help uncover the truth, which will contribute to exonerating my client from any criminal wrongdoing,” Lagarde’s lawyer, Yves Repiquet, told Reuters.
It was conducted a day after France’s budget minister resigned after being targeted in a tax fraud inquiry.
Socialist President Francois Hollande came to power last May vowing to crack down on the cozy relationships between politicians and businessmen he said were rife under Sarkozy.
Lagarde was in Frankfurt and not in her Paris flat at the time of the search, a spokesman for the IMF chief said.