Never get yourself involved in any land or property transaction without a lawyer advising and representing you. This is very crucial. I cannot emphasize this enough. Below is summary of some of the points I shared with participants at the Ghana Property & Lifestyle Expo, 2021 (Virtual Edition) organized by On Point Property (UK) Limited on 13th November, 2021.
Reasons why you need to use a lawyer when buying property
- The lawyer will conduct due diligence on the ownership of the property to ensure that you are dealing with the true owner of the property whether it is a stool, family, company or an individual. Under the new Land Act, 2019, stools and families are required to set up Customary Land Secretariats. The law is new so not much has been done yet. Therefore, it is important to get a lawyer to verify the ownership of any property you wish to buy.
- The lawyer will also conduct due diligence on the property itself to ensure that you are getting what the seller says they are selling to you; the location, the amenities, fixtures & fittings, etc. So that, you can be sure you are getting what you are paying for.
- Again, once you have a lawyer, the lawyer will review the terms of the Sale & Purchase Agreement or Conveyance to ensure that you negotiate a fair price for the property you wish to buy. The lawyer will also ensure that there are no hidden taxes and fees that will increase your purchase price later; for example, stamp duty, ground rent, cost of getting your title registered, etc.
- Furthermore, as the buyer, the lawyer will prepare the Sale & Purchase Agreement or Conveyance for you. This will ensure that all the necessary terms and conditions are included in it. This is a requirement under the law because a conveyance shall only be prepared by a lawyer.
- Another reason why it is important for us to get a lawyer to represent us when buying property is that, if you intend to use the property as an investment vehicle, the lawyer will prepare the necessary tenancy agreements that will suit your needs and comply with the laws of Ghana.
We should all make it a point to get a lawyer to represent us in all our transactions relating to land or other real estate property. It will give us our peace of mind while ensuring that, we do not fall into the hands of crooks who will take our money and run away.
 See: Section 33 of the Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036)