Of the many tangible assets, folks work hard to own land dominates. It remains the most valuable of them all because unlike others it keeps appreciating in price. While there are genuine brokers and dealers in the land business, like any other trade, conmen and women will always have their hands in the cookie jar.
While you are working hard to have enough money to buy a piece of land, you are most definitely eyeing the best deals in terms of price and location. Real estate agents have proved to be valuable in helping folks buy land in prime areas and have gone ahead to help these buyers construct their dream homes. Legit ones are registered businesses and if they screw you over you can always run to the bank. The other option of buying land from individuals is equally common and technical and much more flexible as compared to going the real estate way.
When purchasing land from individuals here are a few guidelines that you should follow to the latter to ensure you are not duped.
1. Do your homework thoroughly
So X wants to sell his piece of land, and you are a potential buyer. Is he the actual owner of the piece of land, is his title deed legit, is the size of the farm matching the one that you have budgeted to buy? You should request the owner to present proof of ownership, in this case, the title deed or a copy of it. Please make sure to visit the Ministry of land to confirm who the real owner of the land is if you have any doubts. You will access this service at a fee.
You should not buy any land with unpaid land rates. Visit the local authorities to ensure that all the arrears charged to that land are settled before you officially become an owner.
2. Get a land surveyor
Once you are certain that the land you wish to buy abides by the law in terms of ownership and is registered by the ministry. Remember to get a map from the Ministry of land for location purposes. Get an expert to help you with the nitty-gritty. In their professional capacity, surveyors are supposed to help you in making exact measurements of the land and determine property boundaries, get a good one.
All the grey areas should be properly examined, be physically present to ensure certainty. Once you are satisfied with the process, move to step 3.
In this step, you bargain on the price depending on your budget, until you settle for a good deal. For legality purposes, it is good to write down an agreement in the presence of a lawyer if you can afford one, just in case the seller decided to change the terms without seeking your counsel. The Law Society of Kenya provides a fee that the lawyer should be charged depending on the value of the land.
There must be witnesses to this agreement, probably your spouse to solidify the deal. Do not be tempted to pay the whole amount at once, pay in bits.
4. Book a meeting with the Lands Control Board
Appointed by the Ministry of Land Cabinet Secretary, they are tasked with regulating all transactions on agricultural land, be it in the urban or rural areas. They meet once a month and schedule a meeting with them will cost you Ksh 1,000. But you can book a special LCB meeting at Ksh 5000. LCB will issue consent for the land to be sold. Only and only then can you pay the remaining amount.
With the consent from LCB, a recent search(not more than 6 months), clearance form from County land rates, your 2 maps, the agreement, KRA PIN, 2 Passports and copy of the title deed, and Ksh 5000, visit the ministry of lands to change ownership. Pay stamp duty according to the value of the land as per the rates of that municipality.