If you are considering buying a property in Zimbabwe, here are some key points to help you understand the process:

 

1.     Identify the property you wish to purchase. This can be a daunting task. Expect to look at least twenty properties. This is so that you have a real understanding of what is on offer in the market and, so that you get a proper grasp of the prices. You may fall in love with the first property you see, but do your homework to make sure you are getting it at the right price.

2.     Make a formal offer in writing. If you have seen the property through an Estate Agent, they should have an offer form for you to complete. Alternatively you can send an email with your offer. Be sure to include the following in your offer:

a) The Purchase Price offered

b) The payment terms of the Purchase Price

c) Date of Occupation requested

d) Any fixtures or fittings you would like included in the Purchase Price.

3. If your offer is accepted, then a formal agreement of sale will be drawn up by a lawyer or by the Estate Agent. This agreement will include the Purchase Price, payment terms, occupation date and description of the property and all other legal issues regarding the formal purchase of immovable property. Your lawyer or Estate Agent should take the time to explain each clause to you.

4. ZIMRA interviews will be conducted for the Purchaser and Seller to establish that the property is changing hands for a market related value and to ascertain the tax liability of the Seller, if any.

5. The conveyancing lawyer will obtain Rates Clearance from the City of Harare and ensure all utility bills for the property are up to date.

6. The Purchasers will be expected to pay 4% of the Purchase Price to the conveyancing lawyer to do this work and a further 4% to the Deeds Office for transfer of the property into their names.

7. Once the ZIMRA interview has been done and the tax assessment obtained and paid for, and the rates clearance certificate has been obtained, then the lawyer will submit the new Title Deeds, with the Purchasers’ names on, to the Deeds Office. This is known as transfer. Once the Registrar of Deeds has approved the sale and stamped the new Title Deeds, transfer is said to have taken place.

8. It is normally at this time that the Purchaser will gain possession of the property and the Seller will be paid the Purchase Price.

9. Depending upon the terms of payment, the process normally takes about four weeks from ZIMRA interview to transfer of title. This obviously varies considerably if the payment is via mortgage bond or on terms.

 

For more information about the purchase of property in Zimbabwe, contact one of the negotiators at Page Properties on 04-783075/6