Critical know-how before buying immovable property in Zimbabwe

When you want to buy immovable property its important to know what to do and where to start. A lack of this know-how has led many people’s hard earned cash into the evil hands of fraudsters . Others have invested into motor vehicles using funds set aside for property investments because the know-how about buying a car is more readily available than that about real estate. But unfortunately a car is more of a consumable than an asset! It begin losing value the moment it leaves the garage. So I hope this article will be worth while.

Before you do anything its critical for you to know that only two people are allowed by the law to SALE immovable property legally and these are the property owner and a registered estate agent. Any situation in which property is being sold but the seller is not the owner or a registered estate agent must be thoroughly investigated and council must be sort from experts. Though there are many media a buyer can use to reach an owner or a registered estate agent what is fundamental is however this question “ Is this the owner or a registered estate agent?”. So because of this people should be wary of many housing cooperatives mushrooming everywhere and selling land simply because they do not own it.

After accessing a person claiming to be the property owner or estate agent you must first and foremost determine the legitimacy of their claim. If one is an owner of immovable property and they want to prove this they furnish either a title deed or an agreement of sale. An agreement of sale is what people usually call cession in reference to the name transfer process that is called cession. The name transfer process for title deeds is called conveyancing. You should thoroughly scrutinize these documents in order to prove to yourself that they are what the owner is claiming because you can be shown say a lease which means that person is merely a lodger. If there are title deeds you must be shown a national ID card and the original title deed copy and the personal details of the one referred to as the transferee on the deed should be equivalent to those on the ID shown. From there you go to the deeds office where you request for the twin copy or government copy of the title shown to you by the seller. And again the government copy’s details should be the exact duplicate of the seller’s copy!

If there is an agreement of sale you go either to a municipality’s housing division or to a private property developer’s office. An agreement is made between two parties namely the seller and the buyer and in this case the municipality or developer is the seller because it would have sold property to the person who is now selling to you. And here also the seller must have his or her ID and the original agreement of sale and you MUST go there together because if you are only yourself the developer or municipality will never entertain you for confidentiality reasons. At these offices the relevant officials will do the authentication part for you and tell you all you want to know with respect to the property being sold. But when dealing with developers it doesn’t end here because you should further ask for a parent title deed and a special document known as a subdivision permit. These last documents’ authenticity should be verified with the deeds office and the physical planning department of a municipality respectively.

Estate agents are the only professionals licensed by the Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe under the Estate Agents Act to sale immovable property on behalf of other people. So in order to find out if a person is a registered estate agent you just go to the Estate Agents Council’s offices in Harare. It takes three years worth of real estate experience for one to earn a license. One advantage of dealing with estate agents is that their Act and regulating authority require them to first do the aforementioned ownership authentication process before advising any person to purchase a property. This is the reason why I know all this. Nevertheless, it does’nt hurt if you go an extra mile and do the authenticating yourself.


This has been a submission by Cain Ndhlovu.
Cain writes about immovable property and has been doing so for the past 5 years.
You can connect with Cain Ndhlovu via the following:,,
You too can become a Citizen Journalist by submitting your story here: Citizen Journalism by Living Zimbabwe
The views expressed in the article are those of the author and not necessarily Living Zimbabwe.

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