With the rise in the price of the property or getting a good price of the property, the unscrupulous sellers are selling their property to the multiple buyers. The common practice prevailing these days is that the seller enters into an agreement to sell with the first buyer and within the period of the execution of the agreement to sell, the seller gets the sale deed executed for the second buyer making the life hell for both the buyers.
Sometimes the seller in order to defeat the right of the first buyer in connivance with the second buyer sells the property to the second buyer and get the sale deed registered or can also ask the first buyer to get the sale deed declared void through the suit for specific performance of the contract. I personally have been dealing with both kind of cases and could analyze the extent of fraud as well as harassment caused to the parties (both ways possible) who were not the party to the fraud and have been trusting the seller to buy a property with their lifelong hard earned savings.
Now let us discuss the precautions which the first buyer and second buyer can take to get their rights protected and further making possible for both to save their lifelong savings and protecting their rights. For the first buyer who generally enters into an agreement to sell and fix a particular date for getting the sale deed registered, he should register his agreement to sell with the witnesses, send a advance notice to the seller to mark his appearance on the date fixed for registration, marks his presence before the register on the concerned date of the registry, show the amount carrying for the registration on the particular date, buy the stamp papers required for the registry (because the stamp papers are valid for the lifetime), make an affidavit of his presence before the registrar along with the witnesses, prepare a notice and send it to the seller about his presence on the date fixed mentioning the amount carried to the registrar, stamp papers being bought and all the necessary steps being taken by the first buyer.
To safeguard his interest further he can also issues a public notice in the local newspaper mentioning the facts in brief. As all the above mentioned steps taken by the first buyer would show his readiness and willingness to perform the agreement to sell and this would also be considered as notice to the second buyer who buys the property and all the steps would be considered as a notice to the public like registration of the agreement to sell, notice to the concerned registrar and notice to the public through local newspaper could minimize the unscrupulous sellers to create this kind of a situation for either of the buyers.
In order to safeguard the interest of the second buyers who are pleaded as a parties and their rights gets affected, here are the following precaution which they can take. They can inspect the revenue records to find the true owner of the property, they can check with the concerned registrar or S.D.M where the agreement to sell is being registered, they can seek the help of the bank to get the title verification checked, they can issue the local notice through newspaper to check whether there was no pending claim over the property. If the second buyer had taken all the precautions, then he can be defended as a bona fide purchaser with consideration and his rights can be protected.
I feel sometimes the unscrupulous sellers after winning the trust and confidence of both the buyers try to cheat and harass them for no fault or benefit of theirs. So if the buyers start to take the precautions as mentioned above then the sellers can be booked for their misdeeds and many bonafide buyers can be protected. I further wish to submit that the every buyer could be a first buyer or a second buyer in a transaction, therefore the precautions mentioned above can apply even to a single buyer to protect his previous as a future interest. So it is necessary to take all the precautions as a prudent buyer to save your interest, time and harassment.