A Quick Guide To Due Diligence Before A Land Purchase

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Due diligence is essential to a property purchase journey, helping you to fully understand the potential of the land you’re buying before closing the transaction. It’s a fact-finding mission, and you can choose to move on with the land’s acquisition based on the data found. Due diligence ensures you get the necessary information on the land’s legal implications and financial potential to be confident with your purchase. 

Typically, it’s aimed at verifying if the land title deed is clear and owned by the rightful owner. Conducting due diligence will enable you to confirm that the owner has the mandate and standard requirements to transfer property ownership. However, it’s advisable to approach a lawyer conversant with the land sale and acquisition protocols to guide you in scrutinizing the title deed documents and obtaining a certificate.

There are two main ways in which, as a potential buyer, you can conduct due diligence on a piece of land before committing yourself to buy it, as outlined below:

1. Assess The Property Itself

It’s a crucial area to focus on when conducting due diligence. One thing you may want to know about a particular property is the cost. Prices differ from place to place, and you may want to find land in the most cost-efficient places. Remember, you may sometimes purchase land that already has some property, which will influence the purchase price. For instance, a flat in Copeland can cost £84,494, meaning you must add this to the land price if the plot in question already has a flat. Knowing typical market prices ensures you’re not overcharged.

Property assessment comprises the following two significant steps:

  • Physically Viewing The Land

Visible inspection of the land will help you know it actually exists. Also, you’ll be able to determine whether land currently on sale is uninhabited or if there’s ongoing activity. 

Moreover, physically viewing the land allows you to evaluate the neighborhood it’s located in, the topography of the land, and its actual size.

  • Conduct A Title Deed Search At The Land Registry

It’s an essential part of the due diligence process. It involves obtaining ownership information about the property on sale from official records. Both current and historical ownership information may give you an insight into its feasibility.

A land search will equip you with information about the land’s current registered owner and the ownership duration. Moreover, you’ll be able to know whether the land has a caution or has been used as collateral for a loan by the owner. Besides, you’ll know whether the land being sold is government property, perhaps a road reserve or riparian land that can’t be sold.

You may want to check the following legal documents before buying land: title deeds, sales deeds, and tax receipts.

  • Consider Land Use

Every country has unique guidelines on land use for any given area. Some areas are mainly demarcated for agricultural use, and it may be unlawful to build commercial property. Similarly, some residential estates prohibit farming. So, whether you aim at farming or residential apartment development, check the local land use laws and zoning restrictions to ensure you’re safe. However, some jurisdictions allow for applications for change of land use. You may want to investigate such possibilities before committing your cash.

Assessing the property saves you a lot from con people selling non-existing land.

2. Evaluate The Seller’s Reputation

When buying a piece of land, it’s always wise to gather data about the company selling the property. Take time to review their social media platforms and listen to previous clients’ experiences.

Find out where the company is located and its branches or offices around the country, if any. Ask the number of projects they’ve completed and research deeper to ascertain it’s true. You may consider asking about the number of title deeds issued to its customers and the proper identification documents of its employees. 

Once you’re sure of the property, channel your transactions to the correct company accounts and collect your receipt. After doing so, you can ask for your registration certificate and identification of the staff who’ve served you. Doing this will significantly help you in case any complaints arise.

It’s also advisable to acquire an original copy of the title deed and a certified copy of all the land documents from the company itself.

Conclusion

Conducting due diligence is an excellent way of confirming facts that may affect your decision on land purchase. Buying land comes with various risks, and staying safe is in your best interest. A successful due diligence process will provide accurate data and information concerning the proposed land for sale. Be thorough at it, and you’ll avoid being scammed.

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