There are several pitfalls in acquiring real estate but there is one that is extremely important to avoid.

I have come to realize that the most important thing in a real estate transaction is to buy from the right person. The importance of every other thing in a real estate transaction pales in comparison to this. Mistakes in most other things can be corrected. If you buy land under government acquisition, in a lot of cases you can regularize the land. If you buy a government committed land, you can use that land for many years before the government finally comes for it. If there are mistakes in the documents, in most cases they can be corrected with a Deed of Rectification. But if you buy from the wrong person there is nothing you can do. Your money is gone. Your receipt, deed of assignment, survey plan, etc. will be null and void if the rightful owner shows up within the time limit stipulated by law. And even if you are able to pay the owner for the land when he/she shows up, how are you sure the person will be willing to sell?

Ownership investigation is extremely important. A good lawyer can help you with this.

Buy from the right person.