Diaspora Matters

6 fastest ways to lose money when buying residential stands in Harare


Raising money to buy residential properties in Zimbabwe is not easy. Some take several years saving money, some get bank loans or mortgages and some use pension savings. Losing all of this investment to scammers can be heartbreaking! So make sure you do everything right from the start.

So how can you lose money in Harare when buying residential stands?

  1. Buy residential stands from individuals
  2. Buy Infill residential stands
  3. Buy from unverified real estate agents
  4. Buy from people who are not resident in the area where the stand is
  5. Buy residential stands which are still under development
  6. Residential property sold for cash

If you are buying a residential stand and you manage to tick 3 or so of the above factors then you sure are on your way to losing your money.

Individuals: Buying from individuals always pose a risk. They may not have a reputation to protect and can disappear without trace! A reputable institution such as Old Mutual, First Mutual, Way Mark or FBC cannot afford to drag their reputation onto the mud buy being involved in dubious land deals. There are no reported cases of anyone who has taken large institutions to the court over dubious land sales.

Infill Stands? Our estimate is over $3m has been lost in fake infill stands sales. Any sale of land in established residential areas like Mabelreign, Marlborough, Sentosa, Warren Park, Kambuzuma, Hillside should immediately raise an alarm. The word ‘infill stand’ goes hand in glove with the word ‘scammers’. A lot of undeveloped residential stands are being sold to unsuspecting members of the public. You will be shown everything…title deeds and in some cases you can even verify with authorities and finding everything in place.

Non Residents: If a person selling a residential stand does not stay in the same city as you then raise a red flag! If you are being asked to go and complete the deal in say Bulawayo or Beitbridge then raise the alarm bell. The modus operandi used by scammers is to sell stands in areas they do not stay. After selling dubious residential stands the next thing in their mind is to flee from the crime scene.

Cash Sale: If it is a cash sale then the risk level rises to 99%. A residential stand in area still to be developed poses many risks as well.

So before buying a residential stand make sure you acquaint yourself with how a lot of people lose money to fraudsters. Check the latest trends fraudsters are using and take your time in verifying the authenticity of the real estate agent you are dealing with. Verification with the Title Deeds Office does not guarantee you anything, a lot have viewed their title deeds only to go back and find them missing. Using a lawyer does not guarantee safety as some lawyers have also been duped by highly organised fraudsters.

We covered more risk on Harare Scammers in our Book ‘Business Opportunities for Zimbabweans’ visit our online shop and grab a copy.


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