5 Red Flags you Shouldn't Ignore When Purchasing Land
Owning a piece of land is a dream come true. You get a place to build your dream home, the coveted business apartment, or for any other activity you want, to put your land to good use.
However, despite the obvious benefits, land purchase is a huge investment hence it can be detrimental if the deal goes wrong. So, how do you ensure you get it right from the start?
Let’s look at the 5 red flags when purchasing land that you shouldn’t ignore.
1. Lack of Proper Identification of the Seller
When purchasing land, it is important to have the right details of the company or the person involved in the transaction. If it is a company representative, check their staff identification, name of the company and its physical location.
It is also prudent to visit the company’s website and social media pages to confirm its existence and previous customers’ reviews. If the details are not clear or there is some hidden information on the company, that could be a red flag.
2. Inconsistent Information
Land is a long-term and costly investment. Hence, it is wise to get all the important information you need to make your decision. Beware of instances where the information given by the salesperson does not match what is on the company’s digital platforms or if the website says something different from the company’s social pages.
Also, take note of sellers without a website or an online site where you can verify their authenticity and find previous reviews from other customers. Else, you could end up purchasing a non-existing property.
3. Lack of Legal Documents
Always have one thing in mind - you are not the owner of the property until you have the proper legal documentation. If the land does not come with the ownership documents or the purported owner is unwilling to share them with you, that is a red flag.
It doesn’t stop there though. Beware of falsified documents such as title deeds and land transfer documents. Ensure everything is legitimate to avoid lawsuits or worse, losing your property later on.
4. Rushed Deal
Take your time and make wise decisions before signing off on the deal. Some common red flags here include the owner or seller rushing you to accept the offer and to finalise the transaction or when the deal is too good. Conduct proper and independent research on the property and verify the relevant documents first. You could just be buying a ten square foot ditch by the road side yet you think you are purchasing the perfect place for your dream home.
5. Lack of a Physical Site Visit
Whereas online or remote transactions are growing popular and very convenient today, it is said seeing is believing - only believe what you see and not what you hear or read online. Only pay after you have confirmed that the land meets your expectations, has a clean title, and is owned by the person purporting to sell it.
For instance, at Astoria, we offer free site visits to our clients first to ensure our offer meets their expectations and to answer any questions they may have.
Land is a very vital asset. Getting a genuine seller can be an uphill task, especially with the variety of sellers around. The process can be difficult or straightforward. But nonetheless, ensure the process is favourable to you by considering the above common red flags when purchasing land, before you sign the final deal.
It's important to verify the survey map from the Survey of Kenya to ensure the location on the ground agrees to the location per the survey map. A surveyor can assist in this verification.