How to safely find and buy land or property in Ghana
Ghana has a huge housing deficit. Demand therefore is on the higher trend for Lands, Residential and Commercial properties. It is therefore uncommon for people to rush into deals that turn out to be very bad in the end. In simple terms: criminals abound in the industry hence one must be cautious in pursuing certain property deals.
How to purchase Land/Property in Ghana is less complicated than people think; more especially when government regulations are in place to protect the rights of buyer as well as seller. However, greed, middlemen and corrupt bureaucrats in high places are the reasons things seem cumbersome and risky.
Understanding Ghana’s Land System
The four major types of lands in Ghana include government land, customary land, vested land and private land. While there is no restriction on a foreigner purchasing property in Ghana, some types of lands cannot be privately owned.
If you intend to acquire a government or vested land , an application must be filed with the Regional Lands Officer or the Executive Secretary of Lands, depending on the land’s location. This usually involves some paperwork, and you will require the services of an attorney to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Customary lands granted prior to the 1992 Constitution to individuals and families is now treated as private land. To purchase such land, the interested buyer must directly interact and negotiate with the owner of the land. Customary land that is held in a Stool name in Ghana can be accessed from the respective Stool which has the authority to grant it.
To safeguard the investment, it is recommended to hire the services of a lawyer and real estate agent for purchasing property in Ghana. Title search is essential to determine the rightful owner of a land. The lawyer can assist you in the preparation of Deed of Conveyance or any other instrument of transfer. The property is transferred upon mutually signing the documents and paying the value of real estate.
The Lands Commission Secretariat is the body responsible for registering titles in Ghana. The registration process may take a few days for completion.
Note that an agent fee must be paid by the seller upon completion of the purchasing process.
Stamp duty is also applied on the land ranging from 0.25% to 1% of the value of land.
Finding & Buying Property
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Before starting your search, you should have some idea about the location where you intend to purchase real estate. It also helps to work with a clear budget. In this way, you can simplify your search for the right land or property.
If you choose to deal directly with the seller, you must exercise care and attention in completing the transaction. Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations before engaging in any kind of transaction. Meet the seller in a safe place and ensure the safety of your payment. Confirm that the seller is the rightful owner of the said land or property.
Buying a property/land is a vital and crucial decision as it is a lifetime investment. We therefore encourage you to take your time and consult professionals such as credible agents and lawyers before making a decision.