Don't lose money in Mozambique

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

Understand the Contrato de Compra e Venda

Last updated on 

All sources have been thoroughly verified for credibility. Furthermore, a local real estate expert has reviewed and approved the final article.

real estate Mozambique

Everything you need to know is included in our Mozambique Property Pack

When it comes to buying real estate in Mozambique, making sure you fully grasp the property sales contract is essential.

Indeed, not fully understanding the document you will sign can lead to financial losses, including the forfeiture of deposits, payment of penalties, unexpected costs, legal expenses, and potential poor investment decisions.

We've heard countless stories of people making costly mistakes when signing their property agreement in Mozambique. We want to help you avoid the same experience.

We'll give here a very brief overview regarding the property sales contract in Mozambique ; if you want a full checklist, please check our property pack for Mozambique.

What is the Contrato de Compra e Venda in Mozambique?

In Mozambique, the process of purchasing real estate involves a property purchase agreement, locally known as "Contrato de Compra e Venda."

This agreement is a legally binding contract between the buyer and the seller. It outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the property details, price, payment terms, and obligations of both parties.

The agreement serves as a guarantee for both the buyer and seller.

For the buyer, it ensures that the seller has the right to sell the property and that the property is sold as described. For the seller, it guarantees that they will receive payment as agreed upon.

One key aspect to consider, especially for international buyers or non-residents, is that Mozambique has specific regulations regarding foreign ownership of property. It's essential to understand these regulations before entering into a purchase agreement.

Typically, non-residents may face more restrictions or different procedures when buying property.

The property purchase agreement is usually signed at a later stage of the buying process, after initial discussions and once both parties have agreed on the terms.

Before signing, it's common for a deposit to be paid. This deposit, often a percentage of the total purchase price, demonstrates the buyer's commitment and secures the property. The exact amount can vary, but it's typically between 10% to 30% of the purchase price.

Comparing Mozambique's property purchase process with other countries, there are some differences, particularly concerning regulations for foreign buyers and the legal framework governing property transactions.

While the fundamental concept of a property purchase agreement is similar worldwide, the specifics, such as the structure of the agreement, deposit requirements, and closing procedures, can vary significantly based on local laws and customs.

Get the full checklist for your due diligence in Mozambique

Don't repeat the same mistakes others have made before you. Make sure everything is in order before signing your sales contract.

due diligence Mozambique

What should be included in the property purchase agreement in Mozambique?

In Mozambique, the requirements for a property purchase agreement, or "Contrato de Compra e Venda," are governed by specific real estate laws.

The primary law that dictates these requirements is the Mozambican Land Law (Lei de Terras), which lays out the framework for property transactions.

A standard property purchase agreement in Mozambique should contain several key elements:

Key Element Description

Identification of Parties

Full names and identification details of both the buyer and the seller.

Property Details

A detailed description of the property, including its location, size, boundaries, and any relevant physical attributes.

Sale Price and Payment Terms

Clearly state the sale price and the terms of payment, including any deposit amount, payment schedule, and method of payment.

Obligations of the Parties

This includes the seller's obligation to transfer the property free from liens and encumbrances and the buyer's obligation to pay the agreed price.

Transfer of Rights

This clause specifies how and when the property rights will be transferred from the seller to the buyer.

In addition to these mandatory clauses, there are often additional clauses that might be included, such as:

- Conditions related to the buyer's right to perform due diligence on the property.

- Terms outlining the consequences if either party fails to fulfill their obligations.

Conditions or contingencies can also be included. These might relate to financing, the results of property inspections, or the sale of the buyer's current property.

The agreement must be authenticated. In Mozambique, this typically requires the services of a notary. The notarization process ensures that the agreement is legally binding and enforceable.

The role of a real estate agent in Mozambique can vary. If involved, they may facilitate negotiations between the buyer and seller, help draft the purchase agreement, and guide both parties through the process.

What's the signing process like?

In Mozambique, the signing process of a property purchase agreement, or "Contrato de Compra e Venda," is a critical part of a real estate transaction.

This process is bilateral, meaning it involves both the buyer and the seller, and each party must sign the agreement for it to be valid.

Both the buyer and the seller can be multiple people.

For instance, a property might be sold by a couple or purchased by a group of investors. In such cases, all individuals involved on either side must sign the agreement.

The documents and information required from both parties typically include:

- Identification documents (such as passports or national ID cards).

- Proof of ownership of the property from the seller.

- Proof of funds or financing for the buyer.

The signing process usually follows these steps:

Step Description

Drafting the Agreement

The agreement is drafted, outlining all terms including price, payment schedule, and any contingencies.

Review and Approval

Both parties review the agreement. This stage may involve negotiations and adjustments to the terms.

Signing the Agreement

Once both parties agree to the terms, they sign the agreement. The timeframe for this can vary, but it is usually done within a few days to a week after finalizing the draft.


After signing, the agreement must be notarized. This requires the physical presence of both parties at a notary's office in Mozambique.

The agreement can be signed remotely in special circumstances, especially if one party is not present in the country. This often involves granting power of attorney to a representative who can sign on behalf of the absent party.

However, notarization still requires a physical presence, either by the parties themselves or their legal representatives.

There's no fixed deadline for signing the agreement after its draft is prepared, but it's typically done as soon as both parties have agreed on all terms to avoid delays in the transaction.

Once signed and notarized, the contract is valid for the duration agreed upon by both parties. This duration must be explicitly stated in the agreement.

Regarding registration with local authorities, the notarized contract must be submitted to the relevant land registry office in Mozambique. This step is crucial for the legal transfer of property ownership.

Amendments to the contract after it has been signed are not typical and can be complex. Any changes usually require agreement from both parties and may need to be notarized again.

The typical timeframe for completing all necessary paperwork and approvals after signing varies.

However, it generally takes several weeks to a few months, depending on the complexity of the transaction and the efficiency of local administrative processes.

Don't sign a document you don't understand

Buying a property in Mozambique? We have reviewed all the documents you need to know. Stay out of trouble - grab our comprehensive guide.

property purchase agreementMozambique

How is the payment handled when signing a property purchase contract in Mozambique?

In Mozambique, understanding the financial aspects of a property purchase agreement is crucial for a smooth real estate transaction.

Here's a breakdown of what you need to know

When signing a property sales agreement in Mozambique, a down payment is typically required. This down payment, also known as a deposit, is usually a percentage of the total purchase price.

The typical down payment percentage can vary, but it is often between 10% to 30%. This payment is a commitment to the purchase and shows the seller that you're serious about the transaction.

In addition to the down payment, there may be other upfront fees or costs associated with signing the sales agreement. These can include notary fees, attorney fees, and possibly real estate agent fees, depending on your agreement with them.

The down payment is usually made directly to the seller or to an escrow account managed by a third party, like a notary or a real estate agent. Using an escrow account can provide security for both parties, ensuring that the funds are only released once all conditions of the sale are met.

The payment is typically due upon signing the agreement or shortly thereafter. The exact timing should be clearly stated in the agreement.

In Mozambique, there are tax implications associated with property transactions. This includes property transfer taxes, which are typically a percentage of the property value and are due upon transfer of ownership.

The specific rate can vary, so it's important to check the current regulations.

The amount of the down payment can sometimes be negotiated with the seller. This depends on various factors, including the property's demand, the seller's urgency, and market conditions.

If the sale falls through, the refundability of the down payment depends on the terms outlined in the sales agreement. It may be refundable under certain conditions, such as a failed inspection or if a financing contingency isn't met.

However, this must be explicitly stated in the contract.

Generally, the down payment is expected to come from your personal funds. However, it's possible to use funds from a mortgage loan for the down payment, depending on the terms of your mortgage and the lender's policies.

An attorney or real estate agent can play a vital role in handling the payment process. They can provide advice on the terms of payment, help facilitate the transfer of funds, and ensure that all financial transactions comply with local regulations.

You should definitely request a receipt or confirmation of payment when making the down payment. This serves as proof of transaction and is important for your financial records.

Both the seller and buyer have tax implications in the transaction.

The seller may be subject to capital gains tax on the sale, while the buyer is responsible for the property transfer taxes. The specific details depend on Mozambican tax laws and the particulars of the transaction.

What are the potentials risks and pitfalls?

You might be interested in reading our article about the common risks and pitfalls surrounding a property transaction in Mozambique.

In Mozambique, like in many real estate markets, the property purchase agreement comes with its own set of risks and potential pitfalls.

Understanding these is crucial for both buyers and sellers.

Both the buyer and seller can withdraw from the agreement under specific circumstances.

However, the ability to do so and the consequences depend heavily on the terms outlined in the contract. There isn't a standard cooling-off period in Mozambican real estate law, unlike in some countries where buyers are given a few days to reconsider their decision without penalty.

If a cooling-off period is to apply, it must be explicitly included in the contract. If a party wishes to withdraw, having a 'valid motive' as per the contract terms is crucial.

For a buyer, one common valid motive is the inability to secure financing. If this contingency is included in the agreement and the buyer cannot obtain a loan, they may be able to withdraw without penalty.

If one party fails to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the agreement, the consequences again depend on the specific terms of the contract. Penalties can range from the forfeiture of the down payment to legal action.

The most common penalty for a buyer withdrawing from the agreement is the loss of their down payment. For a seller, penalties might include returning the down payment and possibly additional compensation. The exact nature of these penalties should be detailed in the agreement.

The process in Mozambique differs from other countries, particularly regarding cooling-off periods, financing contingencies, and the legal requirements for property transactions.

In some countries, real estate transactions are more buyer-friendly, offering more protections and contingencies.

Potential risks for buyers include issues with the property title, hidden defects in the property, and challenges securing financing. Sellers may face risks such as buyers backing out at the last minute or legal disputes over the property condition.

Disputes are not uncommon in real estate transactions.

In Mozambique, these are typically resolved through negotiations between the parties or, if necessary, through legal action. Having a clear contract and legal assistance is crucial for resolving disputes effectively.

If defects or issues with the property are discovered after signing, the course of action depends on the terms of the agreement and Mozambican law.

In some cases, the buyer may seek compensation or even nullify the sale, but this is complex and depends on the specific circumstances and contractual terms.

Resolving disagreements during the signing period often involves negotiations facilitated by attorneys or real estate agents. If an agreement can't be reached, legal arbitration or court proceedings might be necessary.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.