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How To Buy Property Safely in Nigeria
« on: August 19, 2016, 11:18:23 PM »
How To Buy Property Safely in Nigeria


One of the major concerns of would-be investors in real estate in Nigeria is how to buy property safely. Many have had painful experiences in real estate investment. One individual had a most unforgettable experience when he bought a property covered with a Certificate of Occupancy only to discover after parting with over N8million that the C of O was a fake. He had also borrowed part of the money used to make the phantom purchase which he had to pay back even though he no longer had the property. To avoid such painful experiences, we would look at a few tips you need in order to buy a property without regret.

 1. Deal with professionals


In most developed countries, you must be a trained person with specific qualifications before you can render services to the public as a realtor but unfortunately it is not so here in Nigeria. The field is littered with educated, semi educated and illiterate real estate agents who offer land for sale or lease. Although not all professionals are ethical, most are very ethical and are concerned about their reputation and future in their profession. Moreover, they are regulated by professional bodies who often have disciplinary powers over their members. This is far better than dealing with individuals that may appear accessible and cheap but who have no legal obligation to protect your interest. Majorly in Nigeria, it is safer to buy real estate through or in conjunction with Estate Surveyors and Valuers , Lawyers and Real Estate Companies of repute.

 2. Beware of unusual bargains

Every area has an average price range for the properties located within the area. Should you be offered a property with a price far below the average-going rate in a neighbourhood, think again .No matter how attractive the price or location or condition of sale may be, do extensive due diligence. Do physical inspections with those marketing the property and also without them and without notifying them. Avoid the lure of parting with money because you may miss a once in a lifetime opportunity. This has been the age old refrain of fraudsters.

3. Beware of absentee sellers

Many people have been defrauded on the basis that the owner of the property is outside the country at the moment and will sign later or has delegated someone to sign on his or her behalf. In my own opinion, if a seller is really interested in selling, he or she should make himself or herself available at closing to sign all the necessary documents. However, if you choose to allow the seller to sign the documents later, you should realize that you’re taking a risk. I know of transactions concluded by parties outside the country but not by proxies. There are legal steps you need to take to protect yourself in such circumstances and your lawyer should guide you appropriately.

Some years ago, an individual who was asked by a client to get a property for him found one in a good location being offered for sale at a very reasonable price. After searches, he was informed that the seller lived outside Lagos but would be available on a particular day for a face-to-face meeting at his house outside Lagos.  When they got to the house, there seems to be a function going on and several people were in attendance. The supposed owner was introduced and had a short meeting with them. They returned to Lagos but this person had an uncomfortable feeling about the transaction. So, few days later, without informing the agents, he drove down to the place and to his amazement, he did not meet a soul in the building. Everything that happened was stage managed. On further enquiry, he was informed by the neighbours, that it was a fraud. The fraudsters only rented the building for a day and organised a party there to give a false impression. In summary, look before you leap.

 4. Do your due diligence

In property transactions, there is the saying that a person cannot give what he or she does not have. The essence of this statement is to reaffirm the fact that ownership is the key issue in the purchase of a property. There is a world of difference between ownership and possession. A person may have both and different persons or organizations may have either. The fact that a title paper bears the name of an individual does not make him the owner. If for instance,the property was pledged to a financial institution and the owner tells you that he will settle his debt after he has been paid what do you do? In such situations, you may need to verify his indebtedness to the bank independently and insist on paying the amount owed directly to the bank as part of the condition for a purchase.

 


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How To Buy Property Safely in Nigeria
« on: August 19, 2016, 11:18:23 PM »


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