Buying a Property: What You Need to Know and Avoid

Harare – With thousands of people desperate to own properties, especially stands, real estate has become a fertile ground for conmen.

The urge to become an owner sometimes makes one not to question why the seller is selling an asset or even confirm with relevant offices if the property really exits, leading to loss of lifetime investments.

Derick Matsengarwodzi
As James Mwedzi – a seasoned urban planner with experience in land use, planning and development advises, a buyer needs to verify every transaction with relevant authorities.
Always Check with Relevant Departments Before Buying a Property 

“Prospective buyers need to verify authenticity of the schemes they are dealing with, this can be easily done at the municipal district offices. The district council officials must be able to tell them whether the development is legal or not, among other clarifications,” reveals Mwedzi.

Rampant cases of land barons parceling sate or private land have led many gullible purchasers to lose out.

“The buyers must also clarify on the ownership of the land being subdivided into stands. Land barons are selling stands off state land or other people’s plots which will stall your deed registration in future and lose your investment,” further clarifies Mwedzi.

Sales agreements can be cumbersome, but will always help when legal issues arises, while gentleman’s agreements are now ancient.

“The buyers must always enter into some legally binding agreement with the seller to protect themselves from fraudulent activities of some sellers,” the expert adds, “These agreements will help them in court.”

With state land in rural areas being targeted for residential use by some communal farmers, Mwedzi says, it is always wise to use registered estate agents instead of fly-by-night dealers.

“It is always better to buy stands through the services of a registered estate agent or lawyers or such related professionals like planners or architects who can do background checks for you.”

In case of complications, one can be compensated if lawyers are involved during the sale. Statistics confirm that, courts are overwhelmed with unresolved cases of duped buyers involving immovable properties.

Mwedzi further elaborates that, if in doubt, a potential buyer must contact the Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe (EACZ). The EACZ maintains an updated record of both registered and deregistered estate agents, eliminating any suspicious dealings.

As of writing, four agents had been deregistered by EACZ for various extremes. Member of the public are warned not to deal with, Net Seven Real Estate, Reamax Realty, Hopewins Real Estate and Fox & Carney Real Estate.

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