Process of buying real estate in Marrakech

Thankfully the process of buying real estate in Marrakech is nice and straightforward.

From experience, the challenging part of house hunting here is actually finding the perfect Marrakech property that you fall in love with.

Almost every renovated riad or luxury villa is foreign owned and it will have a modern deed or titre fonciere – as it would in Europe, which is recorded in the land registry.

This deed is indisputable and has undergone a long and thorough verification process.

Once terms have been agreed on a riad or villa then the house papers are checked by a notary.

These papers will be the title, the construction permit, the authorised plans and the habitation permit.

In respect of medina maison d’hotes there will be the business papers too to check.

Then all being well sale contracts are drafted by the notary for the purchase.

It is worth noting that the legal system here is French and that standard contracts are similar to typical French sale contracts.

It is all nice and simple.

The costs of buying Marrakech property / Estate agency fees

In Marrakech the respective costs for the buyer and the seller are very clear.

The buyer is responsible for the legal costs and administrative costs of the real estate purchase and for the registration of the sale contract and the land registry – (the Conservation Foncière).

The total cost for the notary, the registration fees and the title change in the conservation Fonciere is 6.7% including TVA – (i.e. 20% VAT).

It is worth mentioning when acquiring a riad hotel – there will be a small part of the price that will be declared in the sales contract for the fonds du commerce – ( i.e. the website, goodwill, registered name etcetera ) and the administrative processing of the fonds du commerce will be with an additional administrative charge of 1.3% including TVA.

In turn the seller is responsible for all of the tax.

Then there are real estate brokerage fees on both sides – for both the buyer and the seller – of 2.5% plus TVA – (i.e. 20% VAT).

Buying an unrenovated riad with Melkia papers

Buying an unrenovated riad in the medina is fundamentally straightforward too – though it needs a little explaining.

Most unrenovated riads are Moroccan owned and their ownership has been recorded in the traditional way under Muslim law – on hand written scrolls known as Melkia.

In order for a foreigner to buy an unrenovated riad, which has its ownership detailed on Melkia, it is necessary for the papers to be modernized into French law – i.e. non Muslim law, and to trigger the titling process that will eventually provide a modern title deed.

This will require several things to happen.

First a promise of sale contract would be signed. Then a demise plan is made by a land surveyor and the documented ownership is verified by a Muslim lawyer, or adoul as he is known.

This lawyer will then pay an Istimrar tax and have the demise registered in the National Land Book at the land registry for the first time.

Thereafter, the notaire initiates the titling process and applies for a requisition number from the administration. This process will take about a month and it is then that a purchase can occur.

All of this process would be taken care of on your behalf – so is all nice and easy.

For more information please feel to read my thorough blog on titling, or kindly write to Chic Marrakech with any questions that you may have at