A BUYING GUIDE TO MOROCCO
Unless you have burning desire to buy a farm in Morocco (foreigners are not allowed to buy agricultural land), the property market is well established for Western buyers.
One barrier to remove is language, unless you speak good Arabic or possibly French. Otherwise, you will need an English-speaking local lawyer, and a very useful resource to find one is the UK Government’s website. This carries a list of lawyers known to the embassies there, (although this obviously comes with no specific recommendation).
You will also need a notary, and again the site carries a link to a list drawn from the National Chamber of Notaires.
For both, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/buying-property-in-morocco
The notary, just as in other countries such as France and Spain, typically represents both seller and vendor. He/she will check the vendor’s identity; that they actually have a right to sell the property to you; and that the physical aspects of the property – size, construction etc – are accurate.
Once a price has been agreed, it is normal practice to pay a deposit of around 10%. You are then committed to go ahead with the purchase, and a signature on the final contract should take 6-8 weeks. Your lawyer should take care to ensure that the property is being sold with the consent of all interested parties (e.g. direct family members of the vendor).
Foreign nationals are allowed to take out a mortgage to finance their purchase, up to a maximum loan-to-value of 50% of the purchase price.
Your purchase will need to be paid in the local currency (the dirham). If you are transferring funds from the UK, it is often worth shopping around for the best currency conversion rate as this can make a considerable difference.
Every purchase is different, but as a rule of thumb, budget for 12%-17% of your purchase price in additional fees, taxes and charges.
As a buyer you will typically pay:
- Your lawyer (we strongly recommend you use one), at a cost of up to 5% of the property value, plus 10% VAT.
- A registration duty of 6%
- Notary fees of between 0.5% and 1%
- A land registry fee of 1%
- Stamp duty of 1%
- The ‘simsaar’s’ (local agent’s) fee of typically 2.5%
Please note: This article reflects Aylesford’s current understanding of property legislation in Morocco. It is offered for general guidance only; specialist legal and tax advice should always be taken for any property transaction.