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5 Tips for Real Estate Property Buyers

Five ways to ensure your Property Titles is Real and Clean

When buying a new home, you want to make sure of a smooth transaction.

Consider the nightmare of acquiring a title with a lot of loopholes such as mortgages, liens and encumbrances still attached to it. Or worse, what if the title is a fake?

5 Tips for Real Estate Property Buyers

Fortunately, there are certain ways to ensure that you can avoid such a headache. Here are some tips you want to consider as you look for a clean, real title.

  1. Verify for authenticity.

First and foremost, keep in mind that property titles are printed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and they use paper made from 50% cotton and 50% chemical wood pulp with colored fibers that’s why they have a similar texture to a bank check. Try holding the document against the light and you should see a Land Registration Association (LRA) watermark on it.

Next, look for the marking “Owner’s Duplicate Copy” on the left side of the owner’s duplicate copy of the title. Also, a red seal should be seen at the lower corner of the paper.

Lastly, check with the Register of Deeds by requesting a “Certified True Copy” of the title. When visiting the office, be prepared to provide basic information such as the owner’s name and title number.

  1. Do a background check for the seller.

Anyone can claim to be a landowner but you want to make sure that you are dealing with the genuine owner. Look for a valid ID to see if the name of the person is the same as the registered owner.

If the person is merely the child of the registered owner, you can encounter problems along the way since his or her siblings also have rights to claim the property. Some of them may be against the idea of selling the property.

This is important so when dealing with a property title, make sure to have a direct transaction with the real owner, not merely an agent.

  1. Check for liens and encumbrances.

To give you an idea, a lien is an encumbrance so while it doesn’t prohibit a title transfer, it may significantly decrease the property’s value. Refer to the title’s back page for any annotations for liens and encumbrances such as mortgage, adverse claim, etc.

  1. Ensure that real estate taxes have been paid.

The Treasurer’s Office in the city or municipality where the property is located can be able to help you see if real estate taxes have been paid or not. Any arrears or back taxes should be settled before you decide to seal the deal with the transaction.

  1. Examine the technical description of the title. Ask the landowner for a copy of the Vicinity Map and Lot Plan prepared by a Geodetic Engineer to ensure that the property is the same property covered by the certificate of title. Also, ask permission to survey the land with a Geodetic Engineer, the purpose of which is to ensure that the land area mentioned in the title directly matches the actual land area. As a buyer, you wouldn’t want to pay for a 3,000 square meters area of land only to end up with, say, 2,700 square meters.

For a hassle-free and smooth real estate transactions in Bacolod City and in Negros Island, E. Gatanela Realty Co., REALTORS, can give you proper advice and assistance on title verification and due diligence, including all aspects of real estate transactions. E. Gatanela Realty Co. offices is located in Suites 3 & 4, 2nd Floor, LD Centre, 7th-Lacson Streets, Bacolod City. E-mail: gatanela_realty@yahoo.com


About Elena Pineda Gatanela

Elena Pineda Gatanela is a PRC-licensed real estate appraiser and licensed real estate broker. She is an International REALTOR® Member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) of the United States of America. Elena has ten (10) years experience in real estate brokerage, project selling, and property management. She studied Executive Program in Real Estate Development at the Asian Institute of Management.

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