How Real Estate Works in Kenya

Written by Beryl Nyathira

December 8, 2022

In Kenya, real estate transactions include the purchase, sale, or leasing of land, buildings, and other types of property. The process of buying and selling real estate in Kenya is similar to that in many other countries.

A brief overview of the Kenyan real estate buying and selling process is given below:

Determine your budget and financing:

When looking for a property, you need to know how much you can afford and how you will finance the purchase. Banks or other financial institutions may require you to take out a mortgage or loan.

It is critical to determine your budget and financing before buying real estate in Kenya so that you can set realistic expectations and avoid overspending.

Identifying your budget and financing will help you determine the price range of properties you can afford. This will prevent you from wasting time looking at properties that are outside your budget. Focusing your search on properties you can afford will narrow your search and help you narrow down your choices.

Furthermore, knowing how much you can afford will enable you to negotiate more effectively with sellers. The more you know about your budget and financing, the more you can base your offers on your financial capabilities instead of your emotional attachment.

A budget and financing plan will also help you plan for the long-term financial implications of a property purchase. If you plan to take out a mortgage, you will need to consider the monthly payments and the overall cost of the loan. In addition, you will need to consider any other expenses associated with owning a house. Making an informed decision about whether you can afford to buy a particular property is made easier by considering these factors upfront.

Find a property:

In Kenya, you can find properties for sale in several ways:

  1. Finding properties for sale is one of the most common ways to do so with the help of a real estate agent. A real estate agent is a professional trained to assist buyers and sellers in the buying and selling of real estate. As a result, they have access to a wide range of properties, and they can help you find the right property based on your needs and budget.

  2. Online: There are many websites and online platforms that allow you to search for properties for sale in Kenya. There are websites dedicated to real estate and others that contain listings of properties as part of their classifieds listings.

  3. Local newspapers and other media, such as magazines and radio stations, advertise many properties for sale in Kenya. If you are looking for a property in the area you would like to purchase, check for “For Sale” signs.

  4. Networking: Another way to find properties for sale in Kenya is through networking. Ask friends, family, and colleagues if they know of any properties that are for sale or if they know someone who is selling a property. In addition, you can join real estate-related groups and organizations, such as homeowner’s associations, to find out what properties are available in your area.

When searching for a property for sale in Kenya, do your research and due diligence regardless of which method you choose. A lawyer can review any contracts or other documents related to the sale of any property you are interested in. Be sure to thoroughly inspect any property you are interested in and consider hiring a lawyer to do so.

Make an offer:

A real estate buyer in Kenya will need to communicate their interest in the property to the seller or their agent before making an offer. Here are the steps you can follow to make an offer:

Make sure you know how much you can afford to spend and how you will finance the purchase before you put in an offer. If you base your offer on your financial capabilities instead of an emotional attachment to the property, you are more likely to make an offer that is realistic for you.

Research the property and the market: Before making an offer, it’s a wise idea to do some research on the property and the market to get an idea of its value and what similar properties are selling for in the area. By doing this, you can make an informed, fair, and reasonable offer.

If there are any contingencies you would like to include in your offers, such as a home inspection or the sale of your existing home, be sure to include them.

You will need to communicate your offer to the seller or their agent once you are ready to make an offer. You can do this in person, over the phone, or in writing. You should include the price you’re willing to pay, as well as any other terms or conditions you would like to include.

Negotiate: After you submit an offer, the seller may accept, reject, or counter it with a different price or terms. After that, you and the seller will negotiate until you reach an agreement.

Make sure you keep in mind that making an offer and negotiating the sale of a property can be complicated and time-consuming. The most effective approach is to work with a real estate agent or lawyer to guide you through the process and protect your interests.

Property Negotiations: How to Do It Right

There are a few strategies that can help you negotiate like a pro in Kenya when it comes to real estate deals:

Research the property, the market, and the seller’s motivations before negotiating: The more information you have, the better your odds. To determine the value of the property and what similar properties are selling for in the area, research the property and the market.

Be familiar with your budget and financing: Before you begin negotiating, make sure you know how much you can afford to spend and how you will finance the purchase. Your offers will be based on financial capability rather than emotional attachment and you will be able to make more realistic offers.

Being flexible is equally critical to have a clear idea of what you want, as well as being open to negotiation. You must be willing to compromise and find a solution that works for both parties.

Use time to your advantage: If you know the market well, you may be able to take advantage of time in negotiations. It is possible that the seller will be more willing to negotiate a price or terms if the market is hot and there are many interested buyers. In contrast, if the market is slower, you may be able to get a better deal.

Consult a professional: If you aren’t confident in your negotiation skills, hire a real estate agent or lawyer who can assist you in negotiating the most favourable deal. In addition to providing valuable insights and guidance, these professionals have experience negotiating real estate deals.

Getting the right deal for yourself does not mean taking advantage of the other party during a real estate negotiation. It is paramount to find a solution that works for both parties and allows the sale to proceed. Negotiating a successful real estate deal in Kenya requires careful preparation and a willingness to compromise.

Upon reaching an agreement, you will need to sign a sales agreement and pay a deposit to secure the property. In addition, if you want to take out a loan or mortgage, you will need to arrange finance.

Transfer of ownership: a few things to note

In Kenya, the process of transferring ownership of a property from one person to another is called conveyancing. In most cases, a lawyer or a conveyancer handles the conveyancing process, ensuring that all of the necessary legal and administrative steps are taken to transfer ownership.

Here is an overview of the conveyancing process in Kenya:

Sign a sales agreement: Before ownership of the property can be transferred, you and the seller will need to sign a sales agreement. It should stipulate the purchase price, closing date, and any conditions or contingencies that must be met before the sale can be completed in the sales agreement.

Obtain a land search certificate: A land search certificate confirms the property’s ownership and status. To ensure that the property is free of outstanding claims and encumbrances, a land search certificate is required before transferring ownership.

Title transfer: The next step in the conveyancing process is to take possession of the property from the seller. The Lands Ministry registers the property in your name. All necessary documents will be filed with the Land Ministry by your lawyer or conveyancer.

Pay stamp duty: Stamp duty is a tax that is levied on the sale of a property. Stamp duty on a property in Kenya is calculated as a percentage of the purchase price. The lawyer or conveyancer will calculate stamp duty and arrange for it to be paid.

Complete the transaction: Once the title has been transferred and stamp duty has been paid, the transaction is considered complete. As a result, you will receive a title deed, a legal document proving your ownership.

It is very beneficial to work with a lawyer or conveyancer who has experience handling real estate transactions in Kenya because the conveyancing process can be complex and time-consuming. You can rely on them to guide you through the process and make sure that everything is done correctly.

In conclusion

I hope this was helpful! Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions about buying or selling real estate in Kenya.

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