Owning a land/property in Lagos right now can be seen as a good and viable business venture as well as a wise investment. Most times, while eager to purchase land/property in Lagos, some people overlook some obvious and easy to detect signs of forgery and fraud in the excitement of becoming a landowner in the prestigious business capital of the country.
It is interesting to note that Lagos state is the most populous state in Nigeria, one of the major reason for this is economic viability. This makes it so attractive to millions of Nigerians who migrate there for business and other purposes.
Below are few but very important steps you need to take if you plan on buying a land or property in Lagos anytime soon or in the future.
- DETERMINE THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE LAND IS BEING PURCHASED: Why exactly are you buying the land? Is it to resell in the future? Is it to build your house? Is it to build your office space or a factory or warehouse? All these are basic questions you should ask yourself whenever you are looking to purchase a land. There are areas that do not allow specific type of buildings because it is not part of the plan the government has mapped out for the state so buying a land for a purpose to which the government did not plan a building of such to be is like fetching water with a basket.
- DECIDE ON A BUDGET AND LOCATION: Buying a property is a big step involving a substantial long-term financial commitment, so think hard about what you can afford. Also, if you intend to live in the property, then you need to be sure that it is in a location you are happy at and can be for a very long time. Once you decide on a budget and location, then you are good to go and you can move on to the next step.
- FIND A RELIABLE AGENT OR REAL ESTATE CONSULTANT: The importance of an agent or consultant really cannot be overemphasized as they are your best bet in finding lands or properties that is within your budget and checks almost if not all you have in mind for the land or property. They charge you for their time, yes but with the service they’re rendering, it is worth every penny as they will come in handy in cases where you might have questions that few or no one has an answer to.
- HIRE A COMPETENT LAWYER AND OR SURVEYOR: Now, in case you decide to work on your own in getting the land or work with an independent agent, a land surveyor has the instruments to help in knowing the exact sizes, dimensions, and even coordinates of land(s) you plan on purchasing. The surveyor will make sure you are getting what you are paying for and not that a part of your land would have been “eaten” into. The surveyor can also help you get information on the condition of the land you plan to purchase. Now where the lawyer comes in is having to check the legal papers and their authenticity or checking if there are claims that might cause you trouble in the future. It is critical that the lawyer you hire can prove to you that they know what they are doing. You will need a lawyer in all the next stages, so it is important that you hire the right lawyer. There are property lawyers out there that most times charge 5% of the land cost. Let your decision to hire a lawyer be based not on convenience or price, but on competence and experience.
Remember that a surveyor might not be compulsory but is important whereas a lawyer is compulsory.
- INVESTIGATE THE SELLER AND PROPERTY: All these steps might seem like too much to just buy a piece of land but believe us when we say it is better to follow these steps before getting the land because if you do not, you will have to come back to them sometime in the future. When you find a property you are interested in, you should always ensure that the person you are dealing with is the rightful owner of the property or someone who has the valid authority to sell the property. A lot of times when dealing with property in Lagos, you hear of fraudulent individuals who try to sell property which they do not own to unsuspecting buyers. This stage is where your lawyer begins his/her work fully, the lawyer will conduct the proper searches, ask the right questions, and request for the right documentation to determine if the person you are speaking to about the property in Lagos, is the real owner. This is EXTREMELY important especially when the property in question is family land. There are situations of family lands being reclaimed after more than 7 years. The buyer must have paid a huge sum of money to whoever sold them the land and unfortunately for the buyer, he/she will almost never be able to trace the seller.
- INSPECT THE PROPERTY: After you have confirmed that the person you are dealing with has title, and the property is free from any issues, then you should visit the land to physically inspect it. This is where a surveyor will come in handy as they will help in making sure the land is the same as what is written in paper.
- NEGOTIATION AND PAYMENT: Here, you discuss with the seller and reach an agreement on the amount you are paying and what payment plans are available if any. It is a good idea to have an independent valuation of the property carried out in order to have a guide regarding the value of the property and whether the amount being negotiated represents fair market value of the property. After negotiation is complete and payment is to be made, make sure you are paying to the right individual if you are using an independent agent or omo onile. For real estate companies, ensure the details provided are that of the company. You can easily tell as reputable real estate companies have their business names as the account name and not an individual’s name.
- SECURE YOUR PROPERTY: The good thing with buying land/property with real estate companies is that you do not have to worry or fear about having to secure your land or losing your land. But if you did not transact with a real estate company, make sure once your documents are complete and you have been legally handed the land over to, you try as much as possible to fence your land round. Once your land is fenced, you have no fears or worries that some random people will come to take your land. Make sure the land title has been officially transferred to you from the former owner.
As you have read from the above, there are a number of risks involved with buying property in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole, and the most effective way to prevent a number of them is to conduct proper verification before you proceed i.e. verify that the person you are dealing with is the legitimate owner and verify that the property has no issue or claim. To see some of our properties or speak to us, you can visit our website https://samtlproperties.com/ or head over to any of our offices listed below;
– Plot 480, Umaru Dikko Street, Jabi District, Abuja
– 62, Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos.
– 7, Alfred Rewane Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
– Plot 17, Sheda Close, 707 Tafawa Balewa Street, Area 8, Garki, Abuja.
– 59, Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers.