Avoid These 7 Common Frauds When Buying Property in Pakistan [Guide]

By Asif Khan

Pakistani real estate has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. Since 2010, property prices in Islamabad alone, have approximately doubled.

Given this positive trend in most parts of the country, many individuals are keen on grabbing a piece of the real estate pie.

If you are interested in jumping on the real estate bandwagon and don’t know where to begin —  then you’ve come to the right place.

I will be going through some basic steps that you must follow in order to get the best deal on property. In fact, these tips can also help you avoid fraudulent property agents who are always ready to pounce on unsuspecting clients.

1. Don’t Rely on Agents

Don’t trust agents. Do your research using different property portals like Zameen.com, OLX.com.pk and Lamudi.pk.

Keep in mind that most of the prices (demands) listed in these portals are 20–30% greater than the actual market price.

2. Find the Market Value of the Plot or House

So you found a property that caught your eye? Great! Now you need to find its market value.

You don’t need a PhD to do it. In fact, you can trick the same agents to find the market value of a particular property.

As anybody who is familiar with the real estate scenario in Pakistan will tell you, here is what you need to do:

  • Call Agent A who list the plot and ask about its final price. Lets say he quotes X amount for it.
  • Call Agent B who is dealing in the same area. Ask him that you have that plot and you’re looking to sell it. Chances are that the price he quotes you is different from the price you got from Agent A. Let’s call this new price Y.
  • Now lets do some basic math: M = (X+Y)/2
  • You now have your estimated market value M.

3. Don’t Rely On One. Find the Right Agent

This one is tricky and doesn’t have a straight answer. You need to talk and meet multiple agents.

Just pick an agent who quotes a price nearest to your estimated market value M.

A tip to consider. Don’t get impressed with their luxurious offices, educated accent, or a number of employees working under them.

4. Meet and Negotiate with the Owner Face-to-face

Ask your agent to setup a meeting with owner of the property. Never make a deal with agent directly.

Now you need to verify ownership of the property by cross checking the allotment/transfer letter with the NIC of the person you’re meeting with.

Many agents will make excuses that the owner is not in town or is abroad. Just simply don’t buy those excuses and walk away from the deal if that happens.

5. Don’t Pay It All in One Go. Give Token Money to Finalize the Deal

Awesome, I hope they didn’t drag you much with their negotiation.

Once you finalize the price and payment terms between you and the owner of the property, you need to pay owner some token money. This ensures that you both get bound to the deal.

Do ask for a receipt from owner/agent about the token money.

Couple of things to take care of here:

  • Your token money should be in between rupees 50K to 1Lac.
  • You must take a copy of allotment or transfer letter.
  • Token receipt must have complete address or file number of a property.
  • Token receipt must mention that the property doesn’t has any litigation or due payments.
  • This token money is counted in the total price of a property.

6. Ask Your Agent to Verify Allotment or Transfer Letter

Fair is fair. It is part of an agent’s commission since they have given you a secure deal.

However, you don’t need to pay your agent anything until this point. If you have time and you are dealing with an agent for the first time, its better go with him to the Society’s office to cross check the status of the property you’re intending to buy.

7. Pay via Bank Pay Orders

Avoid paying in cash. It is always better and secure to pay using pay orders.

Here are some other things to keep in mind when it comes to paying for your property:

  • Each society has different rules for Taxation. This is a huge subject that needs an article of its own to fully explain it.
  • As for what you need to pay your agent, his commission is 1% of a total price.

If you follow these steps, I am sure you can avoid getting scammed by many unscrupulous elements out there.

The post originally appeared on Medium.com and has been reproduced with permission from the author.