Avoiding Real Estate Pitfalls: A Guide for Buying Property in Cambodia
Updated on: July 25, 2023, 8:08 a.m.
Published on: July 25, 2023, 6:13 a.m.

Avoiding Real Estate Pitfalls: A Guide for Buying Property in Cambodia

Purchasing property in a foreign country can be an exciting investment opportunity. Cambodia, with its promising investment climate, has attracted many buyers over the years. However, some property buyers have faced unexpected challenges and pitfalls during their investments, leaving them worried about their choice. In this article, we will share some real-life case studies from readers who have encountered issues while buying property in Cambodia and offer valuable tips to help potential buyers avoid falling into the same traps.

Case Studies Collected

The Agent Suddenly "Disappears"

A few years ago, Mr A, an investor, purchased an apartment in Phnom Penh through a real estate agency. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances such as the gambling ban and the pandemic led to the disappearance of the agent he was dealing with. This left him stranded without any means to contact either the agency or the developer. Thankfully, Realestate.com.kh stepped in and provided valuable assistance. They facilitated communication between Mr A and the developer, guiding him through all the required procedures, and ensuring a successful transfer of ownership of his property.

A Deposit was Paid, But No Sign of Construction

Similar to Mr A, Mr L was also enticed by the promising investment opportunities in Cambodia. He decided to purchase an apartment in Phnom Penh through an agency. Unfortunately, his experience turned out to be less fortunate. Upon reviewing the project introduction article provided by Mr L, it became evident that the agency in question was not based in Cambodia and had a poor understanding of the local market. The project introduction materials were filled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies. For instance, they mentioned locations with unfamiliar names like "Sovanna Shopping Center" and "Soviet Friends Hospital" as popular landmarks. Furthermore, the article falsely claimed that the project was in close proximity to the Chinese Embassy (150 meters) and the US Embassy (600 meters), whereas in reality, the distance between these two embassies is 5.1 kilometres, making the whole project appear fraudulent.

Few Years of Property Ownership

Another reader shared their experience of purchasing a small apartment in Phnom Penh at a bargain price. However, they made the mistake of not conducting thorough inquiries initially and later found out that the property only had a leasehold for a limited number of decades. The agency involved in the transaction assured them that the developer would apply for an extension of the land lease upon its expiration, claiming it would be similar to owning the property outright.

Upon conducting our investigation, it became evident that the agency's promises were merely spoken words and lacked any concrete guarantee of a lease extension. Furthermore, there is misleading information online, leading many buyers to wrongly believe that all properties in Cambodia automatically come with freehold ownership, which can be passed on to future generations. In reality, this is not the case, and buyers often end up regretting their decisions once they discover the truth.

How to Avoid Being Deceived When Buying Property in Cambodia

Do Not Rely on Non-Resident Middleman:

An important piece of advice for prospective property buyers in Cambodia is to steer clear of relying on non-resident intermediaries. Instead, it is recommended to choose intermediaries/agencies with a physical presence in Cambodia. These on-site experts possess a deeper understanding of the local market and can provide trustworthy recommendations for reliable projects.

Choose Reputable Intermediary Firms:

Selecting a reputable intermediary firm is crucial to ensuring a smooth and secure transaction. Established firms often boast experienced professional teams and a wide range of cooperative projects, providing buyers with more options. Their strong market influence and reputation are indicative of their commitment to maintaining high-quality services.

Verify Information from Reliable Sources:

Before making any property investment decisions, conduct thorough research using reliable and reputable information channels. Avoid relying solely on information found on various property selling platforms, as they might not be backed by genuine expertise and could lack the essential details needed for a well-informed decision.

Buying property in Cambodia can be a rewarding venture if approached with caution and diligence. The real-life case studies shared in this article underscore the importance of being aware of the risks involved and the need to choose reputable intermediaries for assistance. By following these essential tips and conducting due diligence, potential buyers can avoid falling victim to deceptive practices and make a wise and informed investment choice in Cambodia's thriving real estate market. If you're a newcomer to property investment in Cambodia or eager to make an informed decision, reach out to our real estate specialist today for a consultation on the Cambodian property market. At Realestate.com.kh, we offer current insights and help customers find their dream properties every day. Click here