Owning land is everyone’s dream. Land is probably the most precious fixed asset you could own today. Apart from a sense of security, land hardly loses value. As such, you are sure that your money is secure and appreciating. Unfortunately, there are lots of fraudulent people and scammers in the industry. Double allocation of property is common. Also, there are people who sell land that does not belong to them.
While real estate is a good form of investment, it can be risky. As such, if you want to buy land in Kenya, it is important that you to follow the correct procedure. Do not lose your hard-earned money by seeking shortcuts. Acquire land safely by conducting due diligence.
Do not conduct business directly with a seller or agent. A land lawyer is experienced, and they will see transactions, ensuring that you are not only safe, but you get value for money.
Visit the land registry and conduct a search on the parcel of land. You may ask your lawyer to facilitate the search. A search helps you learn the ownership history of the parcel. You will need a copy of the title deed to conduct the search. Usually, the process takes three days. It is important to conduct due diligence on the selling agent as well.
Having a look and feel of the property is of utmost importance. Sometimes agents do not accurately describe the location of the property. Also, visiting the property will help you see if you like the ambience. Do some research about the area and see if it is a place that you would like to be affiliated with. You may engage a land surveyor to check if the size of the parcel is as described.
Landowners are legally obligated to pay land rates; you do not want to find yourself in trouble. Ensure that the land does not have any land rate arrears. It is the duty of the seller to clear any pending rates before selling the land to you.
Ensure that you establish the transaction costs and agree on how they will be paid.
After you are happy with the property and the search results, it is now time to make an offer. Your advocate should prepare a document that shows intent to buy. The document should include the details of the buyer and seller, a description of the property, the cost, and terms of payment.
Once the seller accepts your offer, they should present you (the buyer) with a sales agreement. The terms in the offer should match those in the sales agreement. Ensure that your advocate looks at the sales agreement and confirms that the terms are as discussed. The seller should then pay the deposit as agreed. Avoid cash transactions. The best way to pay would be from the seller’s advocate bank account to the buyer’s advocate bank account.
A government valuer will visit the property and assess the value. The government will decide how much stamp duty you are required to pay. Stamp duty is used when registering the property. It is the duty of the buyer to complete stamp duty payment.
The property ownership should be transferred once the terms of payment are met/ fulfilled. The buyer should then be presented with the property registration documents.