The real estate industry involves the exchange of huge amounts of money. It is the fastest growing industry in the country not to mention the steadiness in the growth of the industry. Each day many real estate transactions are closed, out of these several deals go sour. Day in day out innocent unsuspecting people are fleeced of the huge amounts of money. So how do we avoid losing money? Every buyer has to conduct an investigation, in real estate terms, this investigation is known as Due Diligence.
Once one decides to buy land, the very first step is to conduct a site visit. Physically visit the property just to ensure that the property really does exist and most importantly that the property meets your desires. Look around to see that the property does have the features mentioned to you by the seller. You could go ahead and ask the local people around about the property just to be sure. Look out for beacons and other markings too. This, however, is not the only step, more concrete assurance has to be sought.
The seller should provide the buyer with the Title Deed (if applicable). With this title deed, the willing buyer can go ahead to conduct a Title search at the Govt lands office. During this process, the seller seeks to establish the ownership and existence of the property.
With the title deed, the buyer should go to the lands office in the area the land is located and apply for a land search at a fee of 500KES. This should take at most a week as per the government’s commitment. Once the search certificate is out, the details about the ownership and existence of the property will be shown. In it the buyer will find who owns the property, to cross check this, the buyer should ask the seller for his/her National Identity to confirm the names, at this point it is important to note that the names are in the Title Deed and those in the National Identity Card should be in the same order.
The search certificate should include the size and the title deed number of the property. Details on any encumbrances on the land. With this, the seller is then sure about the property and can proceed to do the sale. The buyer should also be careful that money is exchanged after signing the agreement in the presence of a lawyer.