Avoid being duped by property dealers

Wednesday March 13 2019

Do not be deceived by the beautiful  exterior

Do not be deceived by the beautiful exterior of a house, inspect the interior as well before committing to pay for the property. Photo by Shabibah Nakirigya 

By SHABIBAH NAKIRIGYA

Mark Sendiwala recently survived being duped into paying for a house different from one that had been advertised. He got to know of the advert through a real estate dealer, who showed him photos of beautiful houses on their website. “From the beginning, I started imagining that exact house I selected because it was my dream house. I didn’t want the idea of constructing a house. I worked hard to get enough money to buy a finished house but it took me a year to get what I wanted,” he says.

Sendiwala says some real estate managers get pictures from other companies’ websites when they do not have the property. They do this just to attract buyers.
He says when you fall into their trap, they try to persuade you to buy the actual product on sale.
“Property managers have a habit of fooling you, saying the one you picked was taken but you can also pick from what is remaining, they do not give you a chance to have a look at the house you had picked,” he says.

There are times when property dealers fail to deliver or deliver late. Jackson Mayanja, a property manager from TMT Mining and Real Estate Agency, says there are several reasons why property managers may not fulfil their part of the bargain.

Changes in prices or costs
Mayanja says usually, real estate costs change due to the currency rates and this affects the business, leading to delay in delivering the property, or delivering a different product. He says this is mostly the case with property sold in dollars. “When you’re selling a certain property, you need to understand how much the property costs to avoid making losses, prices keep rising and falling. That’s why you have to keep on checking current market prices.”

Impossible contract dates
Mayanja says one of the most common reasons why a real estate closing date is delayed is because of unrealistic contract dates that were agreed upon during the purchase proposal.
“Sometimes property managers set a date when they are well aware that they cannot deliver on that date because they want money, and they keep on postponing the dates until they have settled their issues,” he adds.

Instalments
Mayanja says when the property is paid for in installments, some property dealers deliberately postpone delivery dates until the buyer has paid half the money, or all of it.

Ownership of the property
Adnan Mpuuga, the executive director of East Lands Agency, says another common reason why a real estate deal can be delayed is something to do with ownership of the property. Sometimes the person in charge of the property is not the actual owner, and thus may not be in position to make certain decisions, such as issues to do with land titles.

“If you’re set to buy a property, make sure you have a legal officer to help you and identify if the property is clear to be sold out with a land title, it can be extremely frustrating to find out that the property you bought or are about to buy has no land title ,” he says.

Mpuuga adds that there are several other ownership-related issues which could delay the process. For instance, sometimes when the owner is abroad, it is very hard to seal the deal on time, you have to wait for an authorisation from the owner .
“I advise that if you have an emergency and you want to sale your property on time to avoid delays, you have to ask your legal officer to sort out ownership and document-related to the property before it’s too late,” he says.

Failure to fix repairs on time
Mpuuga says one of the reasons buyers inspect property before payment is to check if there are areas that need repair.
Some property managers tend to put on sale property that has defects because it is hard to spot the damage without inspecting.

“After identifying the damage, the property manager has to do repairs and this also delays the process because they take their time, after all you have paid half of the sum,” he says.
He adds that after the inspection, the buyer has the opportunity to request for repairs to be completed before the closing date to avoid inconveniences.

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