So you want to buy property in Kenya? Here are the 6 key steps to follow.

By Faith Mbai

1. Identify the property

This entails engaging an experienced real estate firm or agent like Ebony Estates Limited. These professionals will guide you throughout the entire process as they are well vast with necessary knowledge in the subject area.

Also endeavor to visit the property to ascertain if it is the one in mind.

2. Carry out due diligence

This is about carrying out a search of the title of the property at the office of the Ministry of Lands. A licensed surveyor should be engaged to ascertain the physical attributes of the property such as its size, boundaries et cetera.
These attributes on the ground should essentially match what is on the deed plan.

Deed plan: A signed plan by the Director of Surveys that show the precise particulars of a surveyed piece of land.

Further, it is done to identify the interests on which the property may subsist such as easements and encumbrances.

Easement: An agreement that the current owner of a property has with another party to utilize the subject property.

Encumbrance: A claim against a property by a person who is not the owner of the property.

3. Make an offer

At first this is done by the client/ buyer verbally. If it is accepted, it is put down on paper, usually by the client.
This confirms the specific details that both parties have agreed on. It also outlines the legal terms of the agreement of both parties.
Alternatively, the parties can open an escrow account for which the money sits in the account up until the sale is completed.

4. Signing sale agreement and final payment

The agreement is legally binding to both parties and is enforceable under law of contract.

The balance is payable in full in exchange of the completion documents from the seller. These include the original title deed and other documents pertaining to the property.

5. Land appraisal and payment of stamp duty

Thereafter, a government valuer is required to visit the subject property, inspect it and give the property’s value. Stamp duty is then assessed based on the value given and is required to be paid to the Kenya Revenue Authority.

6. Registration of Title

The final step entails registration of the original title deed, sale agreement, rates and rent clearance certificate at the lands office. Certificate of title is issued by the Registrar of Lands upon registration. This process formally transfers possession of the property to the buyer.


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