How to acquire genuine property in Lagos, Nigeria

Nigerians abroad and those living in the country have been scammed several times trying to purchase a property. This can be traced to either they don’t understand the process involved in acquiring a property or choose not to carry out due diligence.

As a property professional, i have seen people fall prey to scam and other dubious acts making them lose millions of naira. It is important as a prospect to understand the process involved in purchasing a property of your own, this is so because every adult at a time or another would get involved in housing transaction either for outright acquisition (purchase) or on lease (rent) and also land transaction.

My focus as a practicing Real Estate professional is to guide you through the process involved in acquiring a property either land or house in Nigeria and also to equipped individuals and corporate organizations who want to buy property have the basic knowledge of what to look out for when involved in buying a property. I tailor this articles to properties in Nigeria particularly in Lagos state, it can also be applied in other parts of Nigeria.

This will guide everyone who is interested in buying property in Lagos should follow the order to avoid being scammed;

  1. Decide on a budget: Buying a property is a big step involving a substantial long-term financial commitment, so choose what you can afford. As much as buying a property is a dream come true but financial planning for buying that property is one of the most crucial and daunting task that need to be done before you move ahead with any other process/ purchase. You must calculate your disposable income to decide what best payment method you can apply and If you would be going for outright purchase or instalment plan to be sure you can actually afford it. Investing in Real Estate is also a business which you have to take budgeting into consideration.
  2. Location: It determines the price of property, for example the price of land in Banana Island is different from Ajah or Lekki also as the price of land facing the expressway is different from the on the is 5mins faraway for the expressway. If you are buying a land for investment , location also determine the return on investment (ROI). Buying a property facing the expressway or beach/ lagoon front property; these properties tends to appreciate faster and development tends to get there quicker. There is some saying ” everything about Real Estate is location and location. If you intend to live in the property, then you need to be sure that it is in a good location. Check out these properties in Ibeju-lekki and Epe
  3. Land Title: The important of land titles can not be overemphasized. People who have taken it for granted have either loose their property and money or found themselves embroiled in unnecessary litigation. We have other good land titles aside the popular title C of O (certificate of occupancy); we have Governor’s consent, Gazette and Excision
  4. Getting a professional Real Estate Consultant: This is very vital because as Real Estate Investor you always want the best deal, whether you are buying or selling Real Estate. A professional consultant comes in by negotiating to making sure you get the best deal possible because he knows the in and out of the company and also know the worth of the property. A professional consultant saves you from overpaying for properties why because they know the market value of each Real Estate property so they ensure you don’t pay more than what you’re getting in return. In some cases, they even make sure you buy a property for less than the market value due to the relationship they have developed with the MD’s over time. A consultant gives you access to different properties and all you need to do is to select the one that best suit your needs and as well ask questions to know the best property to introduce to you which saves your time and energy searching for property. A professional consultant will lead to a good Real Estate company, getting a good company to deal with is in the hands of the consultant so you have to be carefully to choose your property consultant in order not to fall victim in the hand of a wrong Real Estate company. At this point you should know that it is not all Real Estate company are good dealing with or buying property from. Real Estate consultant also guide you through the process of filling the form appropriately and as well helping you to get all your land documents in order. Be carefully in selecting because they can also provide you wrong information and convince you to buy the property.
  5. Who are you buying from? When you find a property you are interested in you should always ensure that the person you are dealing with is the owner of the property or someone who has the valid authority to sell the property if you are buying individual property. But if you are buying from a Real Estate company ensure to make a search about the company to be sure they are genuine and not only that to also investigate their track records, how they treat their client and deliver in the past. Good Real Estate company protect you from facing Omoonile’s ”wahala” and if the property they bought doesn’t have a good title, the company would help you perfect the title.
  6. Property Verification:  To verify the property, you would need the service of a property lawyer and a registered surveyor. If you are buying a land, the surveyor would need to go to the site/ estate to take the coordinate and verify it at ALAUSA to seek the property information such as the title, location, name on survey plan, the size of the land, to also check the survey plan on it if it is original/registered or provisional, and stamp showing that the land is free from Government acquisition. Then once the information passed by the company or owner tallies with what the surveyor saw, he will then pass all information to the lawyer to take it up from there. Then the lawyer go the company or land owner to verify the original documents pertaining to the land / estate and also go through and interpret all document given to the buyer after the purchase document such at the contract of sales and deed of assignment. But if it an individual land the lawyer confirm the original owner and take part in the preparation of the documents and jealously guide the buyer interest.
  7. Property Documents and Signing: Important property documents to receive include:  (1) Form and FAQ (2) Offer letter (3) Receipt (4) Contract of sale (5) Deed of assignment (6) Registered survey plan (7) Copy of land title/certificate (8) Letter of allocation (9) Estate resident certificate
  8. Taking possession: This is the a legal act to possessed the property apart from the land document given to you and it also prevent people to encroach on your land. taking possession of land is very important when buy from ‘omoonile’ such as to avoid ligation the court of law. Taking possession is a means by you fencing, gate and padlock it.

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