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How To Avoid Pittfalls When Purchasing Property

When buying property, be it vacant land or a building/house, there are a few key points that the buyer needs to be aware of and should observe. Among other things, these should assist a buyer keen on avoiding costly mistakes.

Choice of Agent

The property industry is saturated with agents and brokers, and some, if not most, are rogue. Agents are contracted by property owners to identify buyers and hence they do play a very important role in helping identify property for prospective buyers. However, a neatly done or expensive office doesn’t qualify as a good agent. Given, the firm has to be reasonable placed in terms of having an office, good infra-structure and the right government documents and licenses.

The simplest way of getting to know a good agent is by asking around. Get informed advice from banks/financiers, Lands officials and area residents/property owners among other reliable sources.

A good agency will assist in making informed decisions to potential buyers not only in identification, but also in the correct process and procedure to follow in any purchase, including transfer and obtaining ownership documents.

Legal aspect

It is a MUST for any buyer to involve a lawyer in property transactions to make them legal and binding.

Payment of property can also be made through the lawyer’s office or through the agents hence the need to be careful in identifying the right people to deal with. Business people, residents and banks too can recommend reliable lawyers. Besides the documentation part of it, a lawyer can also give buyers clear direction on property transactions.

Research on the property

Both the agent and lawyer should be at hand to help the buyer in identifying property that has no encumbrances. The buyer should also research on the property before committing financially or in writing.

Talk extensively to residents and conduct a “Search” at the Lands office. Also check bills like Land Rates and Land Rent. A Search shows if some loan has been taken against the property, or if there is suspected fraud.

Reason for Sale

Try to find out independently the reason for the sale. It could be out of financial reasons, fraud, insecurity or even location such as the property being on a fault line or road reserve.

Availability of basic facilities

Buy where it’s already serviced, or has the potential. You should be able to access water supply, electricity, a sewer system, transport and shopping outlets.


It’s vital to know your would-be neighbours. It would be difficult for a reserved and quiet person to cope with moving into a neighborhood where wild and loud parties are the order of the day.

Stamp Duty and other expenses

Always include stamp duty, legal fees, repairs and improvements (if any) on the value of the property that you are buying. At the end of the day, your property is worth all the money that you pump into acquiring it.

source:Advocate Advise
Posted on:15-Dec-2012 am31 11:33:23 am
Posted by:platinum