|Posted on 13 March, 2016 at 18:50|
HOW TO IDENTIFY AND BUY GENUINE LANDED PROPERTY IN NIGERIA ‘’Everyday thousands of Nigerians at home and abroad hope to buy lands in Nigeria, more especially in popular cities such as Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, etc but the common reoccurring theme that filters through their minds is how to safeguard their money so that they won’t be duped or lose their lands coupled with the terrifying stories that normally accompany the smooth transfer of these lands because of the prevalent nature of Land Scam artists and dubious Real Estate companies that specialize in defrauding prospective land purchasers’’(Mathew 2014). How to avoid been duped in Nigeria Property transactions: 1) The first thing any intending buyer (Especially when buying landed property in Nigeria) should have in mind is a budget. It’s necessary to have a budget for so many reasons, part of which are the extra charges that are associated with buying/transferring of ownership of a landed property in Nigeria among which are: 1 a) Legal fee;5 % of the cost of the land b) Agency fee; 5-10%(negotiable) of the cost of the land c) Survey plan; 100,000 naira and above (depending on state and location of the land) d) Cost of perfecting your documents with the Government at the Land Registry such as a C of O, Governors Consent, Ratification fees, Survey Land information, etc. e) It’s always advisable, although not mandatory to have a cost in mind to put a fence around the land immediately after purchase to secure it. 2) After you have set a budget for yourself considering your resources, then you are on the route to becoming a landowner but care must be taken as this is the most sensitive stage in order to avoid been duped. The first thing you must after been shown any landed property for sale is to ‘’Demand for the Documents that the Owner(s) Possess’’: To me it’s like attempting to buy a car from an auto dealer or independent seller without asking him to show you his driving licence and car papers? You know what will happen to you when you are caught driving without proof of ownership from the previous seller. The same rule applies to buying a land. Anybody trying to transfer land or property to you must show you the documents he executed with the previous owner so as to show proof of Ownership or else anything you are buying from him is a stolen property and it’s as simple as that (Mathew 2014). 3) Carry Out a Proper Land Verification Search In Real Estate Business Your money is your power, once you have paid someone for a particular property in a country like Nigeria believe me you have transferred your power to him. Hence, do not buy any land without performing a Land Check on the Owner, the Land and the Documents the Seller possesses. There are so many things to cross-reference at this stage that is why you must take your time and be patient because it is your money that is at stake not the seller or Agent’s money. If you fail to take this step, then you would be left alone to wallow in your own self-pity and misery because the seller would be long gone with your money. Even a distress sale, there might be grumblings from sellers or agents to weigh you down or push you to do something in a rush such as “ The owner is having problems and that is why is selling at this price, or A lot of people are rushing this land and if you don’t pay now, the land may be gone” etc. Don’t listen to them. The land was there before you showed interest in acquiring it and it would still be there after you do your search. Some sellers and agents are just eager to line up their pockets with your money so they throw you that line to you to scare you. There are so many reasons why you must do your search. To verify the owner, you need to ask people around who the owner is, his character, can you trust him, why is he selling, why now? How does he got the land previously? What is prompting him to sell? Is there any dispute or litigation burden on the land that he is trying to shift to you? Has he bought a bad land and trying to dispose it quickly before the problems surfaces? The next thing is to verify the authencity of the land; you have to find out if the land is not under government acquisition, as an intending buyer it’s your responsibility to find out if the land’s location is not contravening the government land act. And finally investigating all the documents the owner has and ought to have such as a Survey plan, deed of assignment, contract of sale, C of O, Governors Consent, Gazette, Letter of Allocation, Receipts, Deed of Transfer, Power of Attorney, etc. The checklist is too much but it must be done so that you are satisfied 100% of the title. 4) Always Involve Professionals in Land Matters before you buy a land: Surveyor, Architect and lawyer are the team you need the most in land matter, it’s essential to have a lawyer to draw up the contract, as any other form of contract is null and void and might not be accepted in court. Surveyor would be the one to draw up the survey plan, it’s advisable to use a registered surveyor with a seal, and he’s the one to show you the description of the land you are about to buy. Lastly the architect will tell you what type of house could be built on such land, it’s very important to engage one because he’s capable of giving you full professional information on the size, shape and probably the cost of erecting a particular structure on any land. DO NOT DO SELF SERVICE,THAT TYPE OF BUILDING YOU WANT MIGHT NOT FIT FOR THAT LAND YOU ARE ABOUT TO BUY. 5) Do not buy land without viewing Just as the saying do not judge a book by its cover… I know some big estate developing firms that displays their large acre of land on a virtual survey plan like world atlas and will ask you to point to any plot of land you desire, my advice is DO NOT DO IT. No matter how beautiful the land or the environment looks on their flyers, posters or website, make sure you visit the site to see for yourself because many Real estate developers and Agents have scammed thousands of Nigerians using beautifully drawn flyers promoting lands that are equivalent to Aso rock estate in choice locations, only to realize that they are dump yards not fit for human habitation. TO BE CONTINUED………………………..