Due diligence simply represents the process of confirming the ownership and dimensions of a particular property. One of the biggest issues when investing in land in Kenya is the fear that you could be buying land that has already been purchased by somebody else. We have heard numerous stories of how two entities or two buyers legitimately buy the same piece of land and both own title deeds. So how do you prevent that from happening. It is not a complicated process, but many people tend to opt for easy shortcuts which could cost them dearly in the future.
Firstly, when you decide to buy land, you have to create time to scout for the land that interests you or you could choose a person to do it on your behalf, such as a genuine land selling company as Lesedi Developers to advise you on a particular area of interest.
Scouting for land does not simply mean driving down to a particular area to only see the land. It requires that you survey the area in terms of interviewing the neighbours about that land. It is not uncommon that a person could try to sell land to you, only to find out later that he or she is not even the actual owner. That is why you find a lot of signs around showing that a certain piece of land is not for sale.
The neighbours know who the real owner is, and you also in the process, you get to know the real value of the land. In rural areas especially, interviewing the neighbours or the chief is imperative since most of the people are known, and even the ancestry, therefore giving you the real owner.
The first red flag should be when the purported seller is giving you a price way below the market value. You might think you are getting a good deal, but that should serve as a warning. It does not mean that you cannot find a good deal, however, you need to be careful when the price is lower than the general price of that area. You can find the value of a property by involving a qualified valuer or a real estate agent who specializes in that particular area or talking to neighbours.
Secondly, conduct a land search, which is the process of finding out with the authorities who the registered owner is and for how long they have had it, and if they have the title deed or its under somebody else, for instance a bank since people give out their title deeds against a loan etc. This can be done through a licensed lawyer, or you can do it yourself at the ministry of land. It only requires 500 shillings.
Once you pay, you are given a receipt to show that you have paid for the search. You then receive a search certificate, duly stamped by the registrar containing the details of that particular piece of land. It is also important to ask your lawyer to get you a certified copy of a green card.
A green card is the documents that the land officer looks at to produce your search. It is of high significance even before you get your title deed as it shows that the information given on the search is accurate and up to date.
Many fraudsters collude with land officers to give you incorrect information about the land and that is how people get conned.
If the green card does not match the information that you received on the search, it means that the seller is hiding certain information and such a venture is not worth getting yourself in to. Be wise, be diligent to avoid losing money to fraudsters.
Trust Lesedi Developers to sell you genuine property, hassle free.