For first time buyers, with little knowledge in real estate, one of the problems they encounter are the listing property's documents. The most likely question they would ask is, how to check if these documents are authentic or fake? Here buyers must express due diligence in order for them to be sure if the property they are about to purchase is clean and has no legal impediments.
Here are four steps that will guide you to verify documents
1. Ask for a photocopy of the following documents:
- Owner's Duplicate Title (TCT/CCT/OCT);
- Tax Declaration for Land ;
- Tax Declaration for Improvement (if with house); and
- Latest Real Property Tax Receipts / Real Estate Tax Receipts
2. Verify the documents at the Registry of Deeds, City Assessor's Office, and City Treasurer's Office.
To Verify the Title
Go to the Registry of Deeds where the property is registered. Secure a Certified True Copy of the Title to make sure if the title is clean or if it has any liens and encumbrances
To Verify the Tax Declaration (for both Land and Improvement)
Go to the Assessors office and secure a certified true copy of both tax declarations. Make sure to secure an updated Tax Declaration so that computation of taxes will be accurate. You can also check at the Assessors Office the tax mapping for the location of the property.
To Verify the Real Property Tax Receipts
Go to the City Treasurer's Office and secure a Tax Clearance to make sure if the payment of taxes are updated.
3. Plot the Title using the technical description and compare it with the actual shape of the property. You can ask the services of a Geodetic Engineer to plot the points in the title as well as check other significant information such as the Lot Size, Boundaries, and if the points closes.
4. Since these steps would take some time to accomplish, you can always ask help from a License Real Estate Broker!