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How To Protect Yourself When You Buy Real Estate Properties

A distraught young couple went to our office yesterday, asking for advice on what to do to get their  land title from a subdivision developer/owner since they have already fully paid the value of the lot six months ago.

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Yet, six months after, they have yet to see the title to their lot. The developer keeps on promising  them every month that their land title is forthcoming and will be delivered to them soon.

Understandably the couple are worried, because they need the title as collateral in a bank for their housing loan, to construct their house on the lot.

The problem of the young couple is too common. There are many people who bought subdivision lots on installment basis, but after they have fully paid the purchase price, they still have to wait for the subdivision developer/owner to give them their respective titles.

Therefore, what should you do when buying real estate properties to protect your hard-earned money? What are the documents that must be looked into?

In case you are planning to buy a real estate property, especially a subdivision lot, condominium or townhouse, the first thing you must do is to for or ask your realtor the following:

1. Development permit of the developer.

2. Certificate of Registration of the developer and his License To Sell, either for subdivision lot, condominium unit or townhouse unit, issued by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

3. Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) for subdivision lot or house and lot, Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT) for condominiums and townhouses, issued by the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the property is located.

4. Tax Declaration issued by the Assessor’s Office.

5. Technical description of the lot, prepared by a licensed Geodetic Engineer and approved by the Land Management Services (formerly Bureau of Lands) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and,

6. Samples of the Reservation Agreement, Contract To Sell (if the sale is on installment), or Deed of Absolute Sale (if the sale is on cash basis).

If the subdivision developer/owner, through the real estate broker or realtor, cannot show you the above documents or if the documents are lacking, the best thing to do is to look for another developer who has the complete requirements.

Otherwise, you will later on face unnecessary problems like what many buyers are experiencing, waiting for their land titles to be issued to them even they have already fully paid the purchase price of the real estate properties.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is always worth more than a pound of cure. So, forewarned is forearmed.

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1 Comment

  1. I can certainly relate to this post, Eli. My wife has had the property we live on in the Philippines paid off years ago, and after six or seven trips to the subdivision owner’s office last year in nearby Iloilo, my wife FINALLY got the title, but not after I had some words for the subdivision owner’s secretary. My patience finally wore out after I felt we were getting the runaround from the secretary, and I told her in no uncertain terms what I felt.

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