Buying a house or land is a huge milestone for anyone, be it for personal use or business purposes. The process of purchasing can be stressful and confusing especially in buying in Kenya. With the laws put in place for buying property in Kenya, it is advisable for anyone planning to venture into this to be cautious. We have outlined some legal steps to follow when purchasing a house or land in Kenya:
1. Do thorough research on the title deed of the land.
Time and again people have fallen trap of cons who sell them land that does not exist or rather is not theirs. This has led to more frustrations from the buyer’s side. In case you have identified a piece of land or a house from a property listing company and you have interest in buying it, head to the land registry offices with the title deed number and ask for an inquiry for the piece of land you are interested in. The results will give you the real owner of the land and you can check with what the property listing company had stated before you buy. It is quite a process but saves on future agony.
2. Have a personal lawyer initiate an offer and negotiate on property prices
After the check, and confirming that the land on sale or the house on sale is genuine, then inform your lawyers to initiate an offer for the property on sale. A letter of offer or intent to buy should be presented. This letter includes all information on you as the buyer, the purchase price proposal, and finally the mode of payment. Note that it is important to put this in writing in case you need a reference point in the future.
3. The signing of the agreement
After agreeing on the terms brought to the table by both parties, it is time to sign the agreement. A buyer has to keep caution on the terms and conditions in the document before signing. This goes to the realtor too.
4. Payment of the deposit
The purchaser who is buying the land makes the agreed deposit via the advocate to seal the agreement. It is advised to always use traceable money transfer methods during transactions.
5. Remember the land rates.
In Kenya, land rates are charged by the county council. Many are times that real estate property owners have found themselves on the wrong side of the law after defaulting on land rates. In this case, you as a buyer should research further on whether the seller of the land has paid all land rates, and if they have not done it, either agree on deducting it from the price of the property or asking them to pay before full purchase.
6. Registration of transfer
After doing the due diligence of paying all required taxes; valuation and stamp duty, it is now time to change ownership of the property.
7. Receiving of documents
Once the full balance of the property on sale is fully paid, the realtor or the seller has no other choice but to hand over the documents to show ownership of the land or house on sale. Buying land is a rather complicated process and getting the right and trusted sources to help you in the purchase will go a long way in saving you on losses.