The ABCs of buying a home without being conned


As demand for housing rises, aspiring homeowners need to be careful to avoid falling into the jaws of fraudsters.

Photo credit: Courtesy | Shutterstock

Editor's note (January 12, 2023): It has come to our knowledge that Mr Geoffrey Kiragu, who was featured in the article below, is accused of defrauding  land and homeowners through his real estate firm, Lesedi Developers. Read about it here: How Kiambu investor made Sh1bn by selling hope, hot air


As demand for housing rises, aspiring homeowners have been urged to be careful to avoid falling into the jaws of fraudsters.

Real estate developers, raising alarm over the proliferation of unscrupulous property dealers and brokers, have underlined the need for buyers to take careful considerations before making one of the most significant purchases in their lifetime.

While hiring a lawyer is considered optional, founder and director of Lesedi Group Geffrey Kiragu says it is advisable for legal due diligence.

“Working with a legal expert specialised in real estate law will give you the guidance you can get when planning to buy a home. They can ensure you meet all legal requirements, have all documents relating to the purchase before handling payment processes so you do not face any fines or lawsuits,” said Mr Kiragu.

Since new houses usually have no damage or structural wear, buyers also need to use professionals to evaluate the safety and the condition of the property before making an offer to place a purchase.

He stressed the importance of dealing with an agent to help with negotiations.

“Your agent is supposed to write an offer letter and present it to the seller, who will either accept, decline, or make a counter-offer. It is advisable to offer an amount that is five per cent lower so as to give you flexibility when presented with a counter-offer,” Mr Kiragu says.

Before doing anything, he says, carrying out of some research on the market of the area one wants to buy from is important for one to come up with an exact budget.

One may use the help of real estate agents to go through listed properties, or may search online for a property that may interest them to help them view multiple homes and prices of all available estates and current projects in the country.

Mr Kiragu says it is prudent to compare prices, location and size.