Land Buying Process: Besides land being the most rewarding asset to acquire, you need to know that it comes with the highest risk factors to be avoided. Buying land as an individual can be a very risky affair. A buyer can easily fall into the hands of predators ready to feast on your hard-earned cash using empty promises. Always be ready to learn from those experienced in the business.
So if you want to buy land, the first thing you will do after identifying that piece of land is getting a copy of the title deed from the owner, to conduct a search at the land’s registry. The search results will show all details of the land including, location, size, the real owner and any cautions, if any, placed on the land.
Once one is satisfied, the buyer through his lawyer will draw an offer letter with details of both the seller and the buyer and the piece of land. From here, negotiations take over until a price is agreed up.
After the negotiation, the buyer obtains two maps (one drawn to scale and another with an overview of the land showing adjacent lands) from the Ministry of Lands, or a surveyor. The buyer, seller and a surveyor then visit the land to verify the measurements.
Once verified, the seller’s advocate drafts a sale agreement which, once executed, the agreed upon deposit is paid by the buyer. The next things one does after executing a sale agreement is ensuring the seller has no pending land rates, which is a tax obligation for all land owners.
The transfer documents will only be approved after receiving consent from the Lands Control Board which comprises commissioners and elders from where the land is being sold. The valuation of the land is then made by a government valuer who will determine the true value of the land and how much one will pay for stamp duty.
Once the registration process is complete, the buyer becomes the official owner of the land and the remaining amount as agreed in the sale agreement is completed.
First and foremost, if you are buying from an individual, always insist on meeting or dealing with the owner of the property. It is also good to get to know why they are selling the land. Most people have fallen victim to con people because they trusted brokers thinking they are the real owners.
The best way to avoid this is working with a trusted real estate company that has been in the business for some time. If the person claiming to sell the land refuses to provide a title deed for you to conduct a search at the Ministry of Lands, then you should have a reason to be worried.
If the land has any unpaid land rates, then you should have a reason to worry because as soon as it becomes your property, you will be held liable for not submitting the rates. It is also good to know what the land was being used for, before it was put up for sale. This way you cannot be sold land that is unfit for human habitation.
You also need to know the availability of basic resources around the piece of property as well as availability of amenities that will make your life comfortable.