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.

  • Many mistakes in this article, infact the story is practically impossible to do. And its apparent from the article that writer have never bought anything from agents.
    Token money comes before negotiation ant it should be conditional token rather than confirm token.
    Prices of properties are high from various agents is because of the buyers where more than 70% of buyers dont give commission to agents and obviously our govt who failed to provide any protection to agents in this matter.
    As far as the verification of the property is concerned its stage comes when the agents confirms that the property is been confirmed and conditional token is switched to become a confirm token and now both the buyer and seller are bound to do transaction with each other.
    And if a buyer will ask agents that i will go to societies offices for verification and any other matter, tu bhai why u hire the agents on the first place you should have traced the owner of the property and should do everything on your own. A working agent would consider that type of buyer over smart and would leave him on the first place.

    • going to society office for confirmation is my right. Not doing that will be stupid on my part. Agents simply cannot be trusted. There is a very good reason why agents are considered dishonest.

      Regarding agents commission. All agents i have met are very upfront about their commission. I don’t believe that 70% of purchaser/sellers don’t pay commission. Why is the agent doing all the work if he isn’t going to get commission? They are not angels.

  • Useless Article. If you are supposed to rely on agent for verification of documents then they have their links and they will get any forge document verified. Author seems to be a newbie.

    • Agree. I don’t rely on agents for the verification process. I do my own verification and so far no agent has objected to it or considered me oversmart.
      When dealing with the LDA I’ll use my own connections to verify the property and ask the agent to do the same using his own contacts. If there is a problem with the property I’ll wait if the agents tells me that or not. If he doesn’t then I’ll know he is dishonest and i’ll move on.
      This is the best way when dealing with the LDA atleast.

  • Point # 1 Don’t rely on Agent.

    Rest all points, rely on agents

    What a logical details man, claps

  • One tactic used by agents is to create a sense of urgency. Here is an example.
    Agents has property 1 to sell for 35Lakh final . He will show you property 2 (might not even be for sale) that is for 35lakh final. If you agree to it, He will call you and say ” Sorry the property was sold for 36lakh last night we are too late”. That property was either not even for sale or it isn’t sold. later on “No problem I have another property 3 for 37lakh final. Buy now or else this will get out of our hands” . he will do this a couple of times to create panic and an illusion of hot market. Plots are on fire lot of buyers etc BS. In the end he will sell you the same property 1 for 40lakh. Give 35 lakh to the owner and pocket 5 lakh additional.

    Don’t fall for this “HOT market” scam.

      • The dealer already tells the seller that you need not go below this price. The seller is in on it as well. The seller is concerned with his amount. When i sold my house i had lot of dealers come to me and ask me my final price. Then they would tell me that if they are able to sell the house for more than my final price that amount will go to them. For eg if my demand is 2.25 Crore and my final price is 2.10 crore. He will sell it for 2.15 crore and tell me to not go lower than 2.15 crore. he would give me 2.10 and bag 5 lakh for himself. Obviously i said to no to these dealers. They would then reply “goodluck selling the house without us”.

        • I need some info. I am planning these days to sell my property in islamabad. I heard that one should never share the plot number with the real estate agent. I need to know why and how can i sell property without sharing number. .

    • I need some info. I am planning these days to sell my property in islamabad. I heard that one should never share the plot number with the real estate agent. I need to know why and how can i sell property without sharing number?

  • If he hadn’t had the POA then who did you make token agreement with? (It had to be the original owner in that case)

    • If by agreement you mean your token agreement (Iqrar nama) then you have a very very strong case against him/them

  • brother you don’t know even “A” about real estate business sector and you think you are so smart and you write full article…. go and take 1st Real Estate education then take this kind of big steps
    i hope you never mind God bless you..

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  • Thank you for writing this article. People who are commenting against you are idiots. Don’t worry about them. You are good.

  • well in Islamabad the commission is 1% but that is true the agents always play game. They have very strong and deep relations with societies. Companies hire an Ex- agent to purchase land or building to cope with tricky agents.

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