In land transactions, a title deed is the most important document, it is the actual proof of ownership. Many real estate investors have suffered huge losses for not knowing the legal documentation involved in land transactions.
In scrupulous land dealings, the buyer is often not presented with the title deed or any legally binding document to seal the transaction, that way, he or she lacks the legal document to claim for damages once they realize they have been conned.
This article offers a guide on the various legal documents involved in the purchasing process. Each of the document has its own unique role in the land buying process that you as a land buyer need to be aware of.
1. Offer letter or reservation form
A letter of offer is a document expressing interest by a buyer to purchase a property. It is a single page document that outlines the contractual terms and conditions for both the person selling the land (vendor) and the person looking to buy the land (purchaser).
It is the first document you as a buyer are required to sign after selecting and booking for a given plot. The main contents of the document are:
- the name of the vendor
- the name of the purchase
- a witness to the transaction
- the property identification number (plot number)
- the preferred payment term, in most cases cash or installment
The vendor and the seller should each have a copy of this document whose main aim is to eliminates the probability of two parties purchasing the same property.
2. Sale agreement
A sale agreement is a next document you will need when purchasing land. It is a legally binding document that spells out the obligation of each party to a purchasing contract. What it does is it binds the vendor to sell the property and the buyers to purchase the said property.
You are advised to sign this contract after doing your due diligence to ascertain everything checks out. Due diligence in land dealing involves attending a site visit to verify the location and the size of the property, doing a land search to confirm that the seller is indeed the owner of the property among other things.
The contents of the agreement are:
- The full names of both the seller and the buyer.
- The description of the property under sale. This includes its physical location, size of the land, plot number and its condition that is whether vacant or occupied.
- The purchasing price of the property and how the payments are to be made.
- Special conditions surrounding the property, this dictates who is to pay for other charges such as stamp duty, legal fees, and title transfer costs.
A sale agreement is an important document as it protects both parties in a land purchasing process. With this document, if either the seller or the purchaser fails to meet the purchase terms, then the aggrieved party can take legal action to recover the damages caused.
To properly protect yourself, we advise that a sale agreement be filled in triplicate, one copy for the property vendor, a copy for the buyer, and the other for a lawyer who should oversee the transaction.
3. Title transfer document
Finally, after all the payments for the property are made to the seller, you will need to sign a title transfer document. This document is the one used to transfer the ownership of the property from the vendor to you as a purchaser.
Before submitting a transfer request to the Land Registry, the following documents needs to be attached:
- An approved consent of sale from the Lands Control Board
- Proof of having paid the Stamp duty
- Copies of identification documents
- KRA pin certificate of the buyer
- Two passport photos
A title transfer document is the legal proof of land transfer, it can be used when tracing the history of the property in the Land Registry. The document is to be filled in triplicate: a copy at the Land Registry, a copy for the buyer, and the other for the seller.
For more information on what you might need when purchasing land with us, feel free to reach us via:
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