A Comprehensive Guide to Buying a House in Pakistan

  • Last Updated on: 22 February , 2024

A Comprehensive Guide to Buying a House in Pakistan

Embarking on the journey to buy a house in Pakistan is an uplifting attempt, filled with dreams of creating a place that reflects your unique style and hopes.

Owning a house is not just a transaction but a long-term commitment and a profitable investment for your future planning.

The process of buying a house comes with its own set of complications that require special attention, particularly in metropolitan areas. However, understanding the complex landscape of the Pakistani real estate market can be a difficult task, especially for first-time homebuyers.

Now let's take a look at the challenges, their solutions, and the steps involved in the home-buying process.

Challenges in Home Buying Process in Pakistan

Affordability is a major concern due to rising property prices, limited reasonable housing options, lack of financing options, and fluctuations in the economy.

The lack of a standard legal documentation process that is followed to ensure that the process is fair and transparent is another major challenge.

The quality of infrastructure, availability of utilities, and suitable financing options can impact the liveability of a property. Although urban planning issues can have an adverse effect on the overall quality of life associated with a property.

Property maintenance and management also present ongoing challenges. Overcoming these obstacles requires research, professional guidance from a real estate consultant, and careful decision-making. 

To avoid the hassle of unwanted experiences, here are a few steps that will help you have an effortless home-buying process.

Steps to Buying a House

Buying a house in Pakistan might seem overwhelming, but as soon as you are familiar with the insights and relevant information, the process becomes a lot easier.

1. Imagine Your Dream House

Before hopping into the exciting process of home buying, it is crucial to envision your dream house. You can also consider houses in smart housing communities like Capital Smart City in Islamabad or Lahore Smart City, which are gaining popularity in the Pakistani real estate market.

From imagining a serene space where you can relax and unwind to a place that can be equally utilized for socializing or productivity, you need to be clear about your preferences and requirements.

However, one potential problem that may arise is the difficulty of finding a property that perfectly aligns with all your desired details.

It can be challenging to find a house that ticks all the boxes in terms of architectural designs, size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and other specific features you have in mind.

This can lead to a longer search process or the need to compromise on certain aspects of your ideal home.

Solution

Here you can get an idea from real estate agents and professionals, or you can also visit different real estate portals to find out more about the houses and properties available in your preferred location.

However, relying completely on the recommendations or suggestions of others can be a bit risky.

So, it is advisable to take some time to research on your own and visit the properties that you will shortlist.

2. Securing Finances

Once you have a clear picture of your dream house, it is time to focus on securing your finances.

The process of either taking a home loan or a mortgage loan in a country like Pakistan can be time-consuming and stressful. The extensive documentation required and the number of formalities to be done in loan applications.

Another challenge is the fluctuating nature of interest rates. Interest rates for home loans in Pakistan can vary based on multiple factors. It includes the lending institution, loan amount, repayment period, and prevailing market conditions.

Typically, interest rates are either fixed or variable, offering different advantages and considerations.

For individuals seeking Islamic financing options that comply with Shariah principles, finding suitable banks or institutions offering interest-free loans can be another challenge.

Solution

Evaluate your budget, take out the savings that you have been accumulating over the years, and also gather all the necessary documents that will help you in the process.

So that you will be assured about the amount of money you can spend and still save a substantial amount for any contingency situations for a streamlined process.

You can save by implementing the 50/30/20 rule for budgeting. For instance, if you earn up to 1 lac, you can set aside 50% of the amount on necessities, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings.

3. House Hunting Journey

With the right amount in your hand, you can finally dive into the process of house hunting, which can be made easy with the help of a reliable resource.

However, the process of house hunting can be confusing and requires both mental and physical energy. Coordinating with sellers, agents, and legal representatives can pose challenges in terms of scheduling, negotiation, and effective communication.

Solution

Consider taking home tours personally instead of relying fully on the images and appealing photography that the potential seller has shown you on the internet.

Make sure to visit multiple properties in your preferred location and price range; this will give you an idea of how to get a feel for the ambiance.

Determine if the location resonates with your vision of an ideal environment or not.

In this case, you can also involve a real estate agent who will guide you to the best property that meets your needs. You can have an open conversation with your real estate agent about your preferences and budget so that no missteps are left.

4. Verifying the Authenticity and Legality

Once you have made up your mind about the location and size of the house you want, it is important to verify the authenticity and legality of the property.

It will help you avoid any legal issues like fraud and theft, or the most popular of them all, land grabbers, also known as the Qabza Mafia.

Unregistered properties may lack proper documentation, making it difficult to establish legal ownership and potentially resulting in disputes.

Another problem is the presence of fake or forged documentation. Dishonest individuals may attempt to pass off fraudulent documents to deceive buyers.

Solution

Check ownership documentation and land records. Ensure that the property has no liens or disputes attached to it.

Make sure that the property has been registered with the relevant government authority.

You can also conduct thorough due diligence and obtain the original documents for the property to have them verified by a reputable legal firm.

These verifications will also let you know the property value so that you can invest in the right place.

5. Negotiating a Favorable Deal

After getting satisfied with all the legalities and other formalities, you can start negotiating with the owner of the property for the price you want. 

When negotiating with the seller, title and ownership issues might arise because of different perceptions of the value of the property according to the fair market price.

However, the negotiation process can get complicated if you are unaware of the right strategies to use.

Solution

It is advisable to seek the assistance of a skilled agent who can act as a mediator and represent your interests. 

They can provide valuable insights, navigate difficult conversations, and use effective negotiation strategies to secure a favorable deal.

Being familiar with the local market, you can easily negotiate a favorable deal that will benefit both you and the seller.

However, upon reaching a mutual decision, a sales agreement, or “Bayana”, is drawn up and signed by both parties that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the purchase price, payment schedule, and other relevant details.

This step is followed by a small amount of token money to be paid before the transfer of ownership is completed to ensure the legality of the transaction and the interest of the seller.

6.  Finalizing the Ownership

After all the necessary documentation has been completed and the transfer of ownership has been finalized, a sales deed, or “Registry” is prepared.

Both parties, along with witnesses, sign the sale deed, and property ownership is transferred to the buyer.

These legalities may take a while, but once the documents have been duly signed and stamp duty, registration fees, and other applicable taxes are paid, you can finally call yourself the owner of the house.

List of Documents Required in Home Buying

In the process of buying a house, there is a crucial need for certain documents from both the buyer and seller to ensure a legally smooth transfer of property. The basis of this process lies within The Property Transfer Act, which provides the necessary legal framework. 


Navigating through the complexity of the home-buying procedure can be overwhelming, but with the appropriate knowledge and mandatory documents in hand, you can easily become a proud homeowner.


These required documents for home buying are:

· The Sale Deed

The sales deed serves as evidence of ownership transfer and contains details such as the parties involved, property description, purchase price, terms, and conditions.

· Mother Deed

The mother deed contains important details about the property's history, ownership, and any problems that might have occurred. It is required during property transactions to establish a clear chain of ownership and verify the property's title.

· Buy-Sell Agreement

A buy-sell agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the purchase or sale of a house. The agreement protects the interests of both parties, establishes rights and obligations, and provides a framework for a smooth transaction.

· Stamp Paper

The stamp paper serves as proof of payment of stamp duty, a tax imposed on legal documents. The value of the stamp paper is determined by the property's value. The sale deed or transfer deed is written on the stamp paper, signed by the parties involved.

· Registry of the House

The registry of a house refers to the official recording of the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer with the government authority. It involves submitting the sale deed or transfer deed, along with fees and taxes, to the local registrar's office for examination and verification.

· Power of Attorney

The Power of Attorney is a crucial document in property transactions in Pakistan, as it grants an individual the authority to act on behalf of another person in selling, renting, or purchasing a property. It is essential to register and verify this document with the relevant legal authorities.

· The Clearance Certificate

A clearance certificate for a house is a document that verifies the property's compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. It confirms that the property is free from outstanding dues, legal disputes, or encumbrances. 

The certificate is obtained from relevant government authorities to ensure the property has received the necessary approvals and has no pending taxes or utility bills.

In the presence of two witnesses from both sides, these documents are to be prepared and signed by the seller and the buyer to ensure a seamless transfer of ownership.

Key Considerations for Buyers

The home-buying process in the metropolitan cities of Pakistan is undoubtedly a stressful task; nonetheless, certain key factors should be carefully considered to ensure a secure and satisfactory transaction.

  • The property should be in good condition and free of any structural defects or disputes.
  • The house you are going to buy must be approved by the concerned authorities.
  • The token money you pay the seller is not more than PKR 50,000-1 lac.
  • The token money is part of the total price that you are paying for the property.
  • Almost 1-2% of the deal price will be given to the agent as his commission. 

Summing Up!

Pakistan has a thriving real estate industry that has seen massive growth in recent years, after agriculture.

Buying a house in Pakistan can be a complicated process, but with top tips and a clear understanding of the steps involved, it becomes a successful and worthy attempt. 

Remember to consider factors like property condition, necessary approvals, and commission fees. Paying attention to document verification, including the sale deed, mother deed, buy-sell agreement, stamp paper, registry of the house, power of attorney, and clearance certificate, will ensure a secure transfer of ownership.

 

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