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Buying a Property in Zimbabwe – Learn about different Transfer Methods and Costs

THE processes of transferring property can sometimes seem vexatious and in some instances too long for the buying party. It becomes worrisome that after paying the full purchase price, one has to

wait a long time before receiving formal title to their property.

It is common that one would expect a straightforward trading transaction where one gets a receipt for the product.

However, because of the amounts involved, quite a few cautionary steps have to be taken to ensure that the buyer receives good title to the property.

Unless stated otherwise in the agreement of sale, the purchaser is responsible for transfer charges by conveyancers or accountants in share transfers.

The least burdensome of all the transfer processes of title is share transfer. It involves the transfer of shares from individual to the next.

For share transfer to occur, a company must only own the property for sale. Situations are common where people intend to benefit from the lure of properties that offer share transfer by selling their property as a share transfer only to realise that the company that owns the property they intend to sell also owns another property or properties that are not intended for sale.

The process of share transfer in property works in such a way that instead of a normal conveyance that involve the changing of names on the title deed, the company continues to own the property but the owners of the company change.

The owners change by the transferring of shares from the purchaser to the seller. Therefore, the reasoning will be that, whoever owns the company also owns the sole asset of the company, which is the property.

It becomes cheaper in the sense that one will not have to pay conveyancing charges which accounts for a significant amount of the purchase price.

This method of transfer and ownership is an advantage mainly to property investors and developers who intend to resell the property.

Not a lot of time is wasted in the transfer process as the process takes a few days. It requires the lawyer or accountant in this case to just check the company records and accounts.

 The chosen representative will check for the purchasers whether the company has liabilities or even other assets.

The total costs payable in most instances are far less than what will be payable where registration of title is required by the changing of deed.

In a normal transfer, which involves the changing of names on the deed, it requires the work of a conveyancer.

When the agreements of sale are signed after being drafted either by the estate agent or lawyer, the seller nominates the preferred conveyancer to whom the seller will hand over the title deed accompanied by an irrevocable power of attorney to transfer property.

The conveyancer will draft a new deed for the benefit of purchaser attached to it will be all documents required by deeds office.

A rates clearance certificate will be applied for which will require the seller to clear outstanding bills while purchaser is required to make an advance payment of rates.

A statement of account will be presented to purchaser, which will include the stamp duty, registration fees, conveyancer’s charges and any other charges that may be applicable.

Once the documents are with the Registrar of Deeds, they are checked and if satisfactory, the Registrar will sign the draft deed in purchasers name and date it. At this point, the purchaser becomes the proud owner of new property.

Cession is the ceding of property by written agreement or treaty with the purchaser getting immediate rights on the property.

In most situations, deeds are scheduled to come out at a later period. The norm is the deeds will come out in the purchaser’s name. This method of payment is common with developers or new developments

Vengai Madzima is a property investment consultant and analyst and writes in his personal capacity. He can be contacted on 0772 468093 or vengai@wisdompropertieszw.com

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