Buying Property in Zambia: A Simplified Guide [Updated May 2020]
Buying property in Zambia is a fairly easy process that need not be complicated if proper procedure is followed and any potential loopholes checked. Whether you’re looking for land, farms for sale, houses for sale or any other investment property in Zambia, the process shouldn’t be complicate at all. If everything is laid out as agreed by all parties involved in WRITING, you should have a smooth flow of your property purchase. This short article sets a few steps to serve as a simplified guide to help ensure a smooth transaction as you are buying property in Zambia regardless of the location of either purchaser or vendor (selling party);
STEP 1: Finding the right property:
First things first, what are you looking for and have you planned out your money. Finding the right property that meets your requirements and financial capacity is important here. Discuss with your estate agent for a faster and smarter way of finding the perfect property to buy. Once your estate agent understands your needs, they should be able to help clarify your expectations in terms of costs and areas that you can comfortably afford to buy even with some negotiations. It is essential to establish a good working relationship with an estate agent of your choice as they are in a better position to understand the market more intimately to get you that great deal.
Sometimes, prospective buyers may be looking for property in the wrong areas or may have unrealistic expectations of property they want in relation to their buying power. Your financial capacity and expectations should be in line with market conditions to avoid wasting your time looking for a needle in a haystack! Negotiations should be both realistic and based on prevailing market conditions – wild negotiations will hardly get you the right property. When you do find a property that is a right fit and have inspected all documentation pertaining to the property, move on to the next step and request for a letter of offer from the vendor to sale the property to you.
STEP 2: Letter of offer to sale:
This step starts with verbal terms and conditions agreed between the purchaser and the vendor in the company of the estate agent where applicable. After terms are agreed to verbally, the vendor or their estate agent writes to the prospective purchaser a letter of offer to sale the property. This should include a comprehensive description of the property, the asking price as agreeable to all parties involved, and the required commitment deposit on acceptance of offer to sale. This non-refundable deposit is discussed verbally upfront and may be 10 percent or other percentage of the final property selling price agreed. It is of note here to also include clear dates of conclusion within which matters pertaining to the transaction should be completed, payments made and documents handed over. Leaving these open may result in complications and prolonged delays in transactions that sometimes end up messy.
On receiving the letter of offer to sale from the vendor, the purchaser then makes due deposits to an agreed account. The purchaser or their estate agent then writes back to vendor with an acceptance letter for purchase attaching proof of agreed non-refundable commitment deposit. Next, the vendor through their estate agent or legal representation then prepares a draft contract of sale for the property in accordance with The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) General Conditions of Sale, 2018. This draft document is sent back and forth between the purchaser and vendor for review until a final draft is agreed upon. Upon finalizing the contract of sale, a date is set for signing and all parties meet at an agreed time and location for signing. The signing may be by the purchaser and legal property owner or duly appointed administrator or representative and is witnessed by third parties from each party. With the signing of the contract of sale, legal conveyancing of the property may now begin.