Specific Steps in buying property

Properties in Morocco are subject to different law regimes depending on whether they have a title deed registered at the local Registry or not. Most of the new built properties are titled at the Land Registry. Untitled properties are governed by the traditional and rules of Muslim Law. It is unwise to purchase a property or land in Morocco without obtaining the title deeds, because you can never be sure that the property/land belongs to you.

Please note that in Morocco, existing properties are purchased as seen. Structural surveys are not part of the buying process. If you intend to purchase an old property do not expect to receive a structural survey unless you request it.

Once the two parties have come to an agreement on the sale price, the terms and conditions of the sale are discussed with the Moroccan “Notaire” who then prepares the preliminary contract or “Compromis de Vente”. This contract is just as important as the final document transferring title as it must contain all the clauses and conditions precedent to the sale.

It then takes usually 1-3 months (or longer depending on the case) for the “Notaire” to prepare all the necessary paperwork before getting the parties together to sign the Title Deed “Acte de Vente”. It is at this point that the balance of the purchase price plus any extras such as the Notaire’s fees, taxes and duties are due. For off-plan properties, the signature of the deed occurs after completion of the property and issue of the habitation licence.

The purchase of off-plan properties is governed by strict laws, which protect the purchasers. For example, the law forbids any payment before the signature of the preliminary contract, which can only be drawn up by a “Notaire” or a Moroccan Qualified Lawyer after completion of the foundations. The developers also have to provide a bank guarantee to secure purchasers investments. Unfortunately some sellers or developers are ignoring them. So clearly, it is primordial to instruct a solicitor who can undertake all the necessary checks before you commit to the purchase.

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