Real estate transactions involve a significant amount of money and rights of individual. The due diligence process minimizes the risks and provides safeguards against determinable issues that may affect real estate transaction.
Making the right decision in real estate transactions can be a challenge without complete and accurate information. A traditional legal maxim “caveat emptor” or “buyer beware” gives more emphasis on the importance of the conduct of due diligence. This is from the traditional rulings that courts would make the buyer stuck with whatever he or she purchased and would have limited recourse. Due to this likely result, buyer had to be extra cautious when making buying decisions.
Due diligence provides a thorough investigation in a transaction. It helps the buyer have a better understanding about the property, the documents, environment and operational fundamentals of the transaction. This process help in avoiding surprises after the transaction and when the remedies may be limited.
The actual scope of the due diligence process depends on the buyer’s needs and the transaction itself. If the buyer is a developer, he or she may have very different needs than the buyer in purchasing the property for lease or investment. There are individuals who have a pending court case and interested in knowing the property to determine the site and use as evidence in court.
The due diligence process begins by determining the expected use of the property and make this information as a framework. Due diligence seek to address a number of issues and identify important information for buyers. This information includes determining the property’s owners, boundary lines, the rights that come with the sale, the expected future use of the property and highest and best use as development options. The process should identify any issues related to the property title, easements, encumbrances, liens or other hurdles to complete ownership. Additionally, the due diligence process can reveal if there are any restrictions that might affect the use of the property or its development, such as environmental issues, zoning restrictions or legal compliance matters such as abiding by Agrarian Reform Law, NIPAS Act, Agriculture and fisheries Act, road right of way act, government programs and more.
The due diligence process can also reveal information as it is uncovered. For example, the technical description plotting cannot be close may pop up after the document analysis is conducted. Additionally, it is important to determine the real estate market and demographic data to predict the future demands in the area. Site inspection will determine the actual topography, terrain, shape, boundaries, neighbourhood and existence of any occupants or informal settlers in the property.
Last but not the least is the environmental assessment, to uncover any daunting environmental hazards or issues of the property such as gas leak, wet lands, or use of the property as manufacturing in the past.
Due diligence process is very important. Adequate time must be reserved for this process for thorough and careful study. Party in a transaction should be encouraged to provide specified documents and information to ease the transaction. Be aware of all interests, liabilities, expenses and possible uses for the property.
Due diligence will give parties in transactions to arrive in an informed decision.