Dealing with licensed agents helps you avoid real estate scams 

When it comes to buying property back home, there’s the fear that you could be scammed out of your money.  You’ve heard the stories too many times to ignore that possibility. 

One of the ways to avoid this awful scenario is to use a licensed real estate agent.  We had a chat with Mr. Chileshe Musonda, the president of the Zambia Institute of Estate Agents (ZIEA), who talked to us about the role ZIEA plays in the real estate sector in Zambia. 

The Zambia Institute Of Estate Agents 

The Zambia Institute of Estate Agents is a statutory body enacted by an Act of parliament, Act No. 21 of 2000 which became active in 2010.

Its mandate is to foster trust and integrity within the real estate industry. This is achieved by diligently registering and licensing estate agents, ensuring compliance with industry standards, and facilitating continuous professional development in Zambia. 

ZIEA is the only governing body that certifies real estate agents under a framework that benefits both clients and professionals.

Only agents registered under ZIEA are allowed to carry on the business of an estate agency at a business or individual level. 

The Benefits of using a Licensed Estate Agent 

Having  a licensed agent has great benefits such as: 

  • Being compliant with the law – someone who carries on as an estate agent without being registered and licensed is committing a criminal offense.  Therefore, if you use their services you’re partaking in a crime. 

Using a registered agent makes you compliant with the law. 

  • Protecting your interests – Using a registered agent offers you protection because all agents are required to operate from a fixed abode.  If something goes wrong, ZIEA is able to track down the agent for you. 
  • Professional services  – Agents registered under the Act are required to undergo training and continuous development which makes their services more professional.  

In addition, they are better able to guide and advise you on the real estate sector here at home. You certainly don’t want to deal with non-professionals who set fees depending on who you are or the number of problems they have at home!

The Dangers Of Using An Illegal Agent

  • Scammers – There’s an increase in the number of unregistered agents on the market which has led to a lot of scams. 

There’ve been crazy situations of an agent selling a property to 3 people at the same time or selling a property that doesn’t even exist.  These people are crafty!

  • Viewing fees – Some illegal agents may engage in low level scams where they connive with caretakers when the owner of the property is away for an extended period of time. They charge “viewing fees” to see the property, knowing all the while that the property will never be sold or rented out. 

Because of that, ZIEA has put out word that clients should never pay viewing fees. 

  • No compensation – Property transactions involve large amounts of money so when things go awry the sums involved are huge.  

All registered agents contribute to a compensation fund. When things go wrong the Institute can refund you up to a certain percentage. This is much better than losing ALL your funds to an illegal agent. 

  • No recourse – When you use an illegal agent and you end up in a bind, chances are you’ll have nowhere to go.  When a friend or relative misappropriates money you’ve sent them, it’s unlikely that you’ll report them to police.  Your family will prevail on you to pray and forgive them!  

However a rogue registered agent will have to answer for their actions and face consequences due to the disciplinary action that will be taken by ZIEA. 

Historically, people in the diaspora didn’t have the option of using licensed real estate agents and relied on family and friends.  However, over the years things have changed.  Agents now belong to professional international bodies, institutions are in place and information can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Complaints Handling 

ZEIA has a dedicated team of professionals, committed to promoting ethical conduct, transparency, and accountability in the real estate market.  All problems regarding its members and non members should be reported to the secretariat at Premium House 3rd Floor, Unit 300 and 303A Independence Avenue or via Phone: +260774233975 Email:

Real Estate And The Economy 

Real estate is a critical driver of economic growth in any country. Nearly all economic activity sits on real estate from development projects, industries, factories, agriculture , offices, etc are all anchored on real estate, not to mention the basic need of shelter provided by the residential housing sector. 

The Land National Conference 

The Zambia Institute of Estate Agents will hold their first  National Land Conference in June, with key partners such as Copperbelt University, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Lands and others. 

The conference will explore “Transforming Land Tenure for the Sustainable Future” as a theme and will discuss land issues from the banking sector, issuance of  title deeds, individual real estate challenges as well as a range of other real estate topics.. 

We know you might not be able to attend but it would be good if you could sponsor a representative to attend, gather information and network on your behalf. 


Deals  in the real estate world include a heavy financial investment. Therefore, it’s extremely important to take every step with caution and stay alert. 

A professional real estate agent will safeguard you from falling prey to fraudsters and incurring heavy losses. 

We can’t stress enough the importance of using registered and licensed agents so watch the video and hear it from the institution president himself, Mr Chileshe Musonda!

If you want to attend the Land Conference  click the link and get details from their website. 

Read more: Dealing with licensed agents helps you avoid real estate scams 

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