What is it?
In real estate terms, this is an investigation to confirm facts or details presented for a property under consideration it can also be construed to mean reasonable care and caution exercised by a person who is buying a property to protect themselves against incurring liability.
As a purchaser you need to conduct proper due diligence on the following;
- The Real Estate Agent
- The Valuer
- The Surveyor
- The Lawyer
- The Seller
- The Property
The Real Estate Agent
They are regulated by the Estate Agents Act Cap 533 of the Laws of Kenya.
A list of registered agents in good standing is normally in the Kenya Gazette and the Estates Agents Registration Board Website and is updated annually.
You may use the below link for a quick check:
It is prudent to deal with registered and practicing agents as they are regulated by law and have a good grasp of the market.
A good agent should also assist you in getting the other professionals in the property purchase “food chain”.
These are trained professionals and have a wealth of experience in advising or estimating a property’s worth.
They will be able to tell you if the property is worth what the seller is asking for.
Having them by your side will help you in making the much-needed informed decision in property purchase.
Ensure they are licensed by the Valuers Registration Board and are in good standing at the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya.
Do not leave them behind in your property journey as they will hold your hand and show you the boundaries of your property as recognized in the area survey map or registry index map. They will also advise if there is any anomaly as per the maps.
With the recent introduction of the Sectional Properties Act 2020, they are the drivers of that agenda that will ensure geo-referencing of sectional properties that will make the owners have their own titles for ease of transactions with their property in the future.
Ensure the surveyor you are dealing with is licensed by the Surveyors Licensing Board and is in good standing with the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya.
They are the proverbial “thorn in your flesh” but a good problem to have.
They ensure you tick all the legal boxes in your property ownership journey.
They will assist in doing the Official Searches and the Green Card Searches at the Lands Office. They are able to dig deeper to check on the legality of the title and if the same was acquired properly in the past years to date.
They further do a search for the rates and the rents. If the records tally with what you have found on the title search then you are good.
They assist in the conveyancing process. It should be noted that as a purchaser, you can request your lawyer to open an escrow account where the money for the purchase of the property will be held. The money can then only be released to the purchaser once all parties are satisfied with the transaction.
As a purchaser, knowing the seller beyond the marketing glitz is very important. The reputation of the seller should be investigated; in the areas of; – Has he done past sales before? Has been involved in any fraud? Are his past customers happy? Why is he/she selling?
Visit the property personally or have a very trusted friend or relative visit the property on your behalf.
Visit during extreme weather conditions ( rainy or dry seasons) and avoid visiting during festivities;(Christmas, weddings, funerals, etc.)
Invest a little time befriending the locals; That is, the area chief, shopkeepers, local teachers, and even the village drunkard. They have invaluable information regarding the general area and at times, the particular property that you may never get anywhere else. Remember to be respectful and tactful as you gather information from them.
If unsatisfied at any point in your property purchase journey, you may pull out of the transaction. This may however cause you to lose a percentage of the deposit you had paid. But it is better to be safe than to be sorry.
Remember, Property Purchase has never been an emergency.
Follow us again as we delve into the world of Property in Kenya.