The property market is one of the riskiest businesses in Nigeria, but, sooner or later, you’ll need a piece of land to build your own house.
That is why you need to come into the land purchasing process prepared for any challenges and obstacles in your way to your own property. Here is how to buy land in the safest way possible.
1. What you need to do
Once you ask yourself: “What to I need to buy land in Nigeria?“, there are several important steps to take in order for the purchase to be successful.
As every savvy buyer, you want to get the best possible price in the best possible location while also avoiding scams, which are very common in the Nigerian real estate market. Here is a step-by-step guide to purchasing land.
1. Set a budget
Going on a land purchasing journey without a clear budget is destined to end in disappointment. Your property budget is not just the price of the land, but also the additional fees, including the following:
- Legal and agency fees – up to 10% of the cost of the land.
- Survey plan – between ₦100,000 and ₦300,000.
- Signing the documents – a Lagos-exclusive fee every buyer has to pay.
- Putting a fence around the property once you buy it – depends on your location and property size.
2. Do a physical inspection
A piece of land can look very attractive in photos, but in reality it may turn out to be not what you expected. No matter how busy you are, you should find the time to give a selected piece of land a proper check.
See how close it is to the highway, whether there are necessary conveniences, how far is the nearest powerline, and whether the neighboring land isn’t a filling station or any other hazardous unit.
3. Hire reliable people
The land where you plan to build a house is going to cost all your life savings, which is why you need to make sure that everything goes according to plan.
Trustworthy people accompanying your property deal will maintain your confidence and watch over the buying process.
The most important people in a real estate deal are a lawyer, an architect, and a surveyor. It’s best to have your people ready before you make any steps towards the purchase.
2. How to avoid scam
Scammers and frauds are a very big problem in Nigerian property market, but there are several effective ways to avoid them. These are the things you should consider as a buyer:
- Hire a real estate agent. While you may feel perfectly capable of conducting a real estate deal on your own, having a reliable agent can help you spot fraudulent offers and avoid losing your money.
- Watch out for survey plans. A survey plan is the biggest proof of the seller’s legal ownership of the land, so if a seller refuses to show you the plan, or the name on the plan doesn’t match the seller’s name, think of it as a huge red flag. One of the first questions to ask when buying land is: “Can I see your survey plan?”
- Don’t pay in advance. Although the seller may start persuading you to make the first payment, claiming that there are lots of other buyers for that piece of land, never agree to hand any money before the documents are officially signed.
- Avoid cash payments. When you’re paying in cash and there’s no one to witness the deal, you risk losing your money. Instead you should put the money into the seller’s bank account to have proof of the payment.
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