A Guide to Purchasing your Home

Admin December 10, 2021

Buying a home will probably be the biggest, most important and fulfilling purchase (that is if everything goes as planned) you will ever make. Cases of fraudulent sales are rampant in the sector leading to demolitions or loss of property and funds. It becomes imperative therefore to make sure you follow this guide with the assistance of professionals in the industry to avoid being one of the victims. 

Choosing what you want to buy

Firstly, the most important thing is choosing what and where to buy. You should buy your home on the basis of what you can afford, your current and future needs, and your lifestyle. Other factors to consider are the history and potential of price growth, regeneration potential, security, availability of water, transport links and local services & amenities. 

In Zimbabwe, many people nowadays prefer to buy land and build a home rather than buying an existing house. Lack of mortgage funding has created a huge market of people buying stands on credit terms and self build overtime. Cash transactions are also very common for both stands and complete/existing houses. 

All other rudiments regarding the choice factors such as the neighbourhood, type of property and form of ownership also needs to be carefully researched and considered. The next step after you have decided on what you want to buy is to search what’s available on the market.

Searching what's Available on the Market 

Searching around for available options has been made easy with the advent of online listing through www.classifieds.co.zw and www.property.co.zw A quick search on these platforms will expose you to thousands of available property options and hundreds of reputable agents to deal with. 

Engage a Registered Estate Agent 

Once you have identified the potential house or stand you can proceed to engage the listing agent and get details for the subject property. Before engaging the estate agent it is important to verify with the Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe whether such an agent is registered. 

Estate agents will provide details of the property and assist you in making a decision, engage with both parties for offer, acceptance of offer, preparation and signing of agreements of sale, payment of purchase price( to be held in trust), etc. Estate Agents also assist you with the process of due diligence which is very important before you proceed to make an offer.

Carrying out Due Diligence 

The estate agent will assist you in verifying relevant documents produced by the seller before the property is even on the market. They also verify with relevant authorities such as Local Authorities, Registrar of Deeds, Surveyor General, etc.

It is important to confirm with your agent that the following documents are available as proof of ownership before proceeding to conclude a sale:

· Title Deed in case of private ownership

· Valid Offer/Allocation letter/Agreement of sale(Cession) between Government or Council or Private Developer or Cession holder in case of a stand or house under Cession.

Where the property is held under a title deed, the process of change of ownership is done through the Deeds Registry Office by a conveyancer. 

Under cession, the parties have to attend at the Local Government or Council or Developer’s offices where cession forms are signed. Cession fees are usually charged.

A deeds search done by the Estate Agent or your legal practitioners will help detect mortgage bonds, caveats and other endorsements, if any. You also need to physically see the property being sold and the identity of the seller. 

In case of Cession transfer, you need to have sight of the agreement which gives the seller rights in the land. You also need to check with the person or institution which will process the Cession and to establish if they have rights over the subject property.

The signing of Agreement of Sale & Payment

The next stage after carrying out due diligence, making an offer and your offer is accepted is to have an agreement of sale drafted either by your estate agent or by your legal practitioners. 

After signing of Agreements of Sale, payments can be made through the Estate Agent or Legal Practitioners into the Trust Account in which the funds will be held until the conditions for the release of the purchase price in the agreement are fulfilled.

The Conveyancing Process 

The conveyancer, in possession of required documentation from the seller and the buyer (copy of identity, original Title Deed, signed Agreements of Sale, etc) can proceed to draw up the transfer documents.

The conveyancers also apply for a rates clearance certificate, levy clearance in case of sectional title, Capital Gains Tax Clearance Certificate from ZIMRA. Seller will pay for the Capital Gains tax(unless he/she is exempted) and for rates and levies clearance while the buyer pays for the conveyancing fees.

The conveyancer will proceed to lodge the transfer documents with the Deeds Registry. The documents are examined in the Deeds Office and when satisfied with the accuracy of the documents, the transfer is then registered and you are now the new property owner.

Article by property.co.zw


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