Before you agree to buy what might be your dream house, consider the following important information.
Use registered agents
It’s illegal for individuals to sell a house for someone else, for profit. Using a registered agent offers you protection that bogus agencies cannot offer you. Also, you can go to the Estate Agents Council if you feel that you have been handled negligently or fraudulently.
In addition, Registered Agents handle property sales on a regular basis and can help you to avoid many of the pitfalls that can occur.
See the Property
Never purchase a property that you haven’t seen yourself. If you are unable to go to the property send a friend or trusted associate to go on your behalf.
What you see, may not be what you get
If water is a concern for you, get the borehole tested. People are quick to label their borehole as “good”, but what does that really mean?
Borehole capacity can change very quickly, depending on environmental and local changes. We can see that a borehole is working, is equipped, is un-equipped, and so forth, but getting it tested is the only way to know what you are getting.
What do you have to pay?
The greatest cost will be the purchase price of the property. In Zimbabwe, generally, the Buyer also pays for the transfer of the Title Deed. This cost is normally between 4-5% of the purchase price.
Can I negotiate the price of a house?
Yes, but ultimately the purchase price will depend on the agreement between the Seller and Buyer, which is handled by the agent, who is also called a “Negotiator”. Other things to be negotiated are the occupation date, rental payments, or payment terms.
All of these details need to be laid out clearly in the Agreement of Sale.
Be sure that your agent has done a Deed search on the property, this will tell you the size of the property, the legal description, the legal owner, and will often provide a diagram of the property. The Deed search will also alert you to any outstanding legal claims to the property.
Remember, just because there is a wall or a fence, it doesn’t always mean that is the property line.
Bring in an expert
Very few agents are experts in construction, boreholes, or soil quality, etc. If these things are important to you bring in an expert to give you his independent opinion, before you sign the contract. Resolve any issues before you sign the Agreement of Sale.
You, obviously, cannot occupy your new property while the previous owner or tenant is still living there. When viewing the property it is good to understand if the house is currently occupied. If there is a tenant, you need to know the length of his lease.
From the date of occupation, you will normally be responsible for all of the rates, bills, etc. The risk and benefit of the property pass to you at the date of occupation.
Author: Jonathan Thompson
For more information on any of the above, you can talk to Thompson Properties via: