Property scam is a common issue in Nigeria,this is not because Nigerians are in love with duping others of their hard earned money,but because in every society there are few bad eggs,and those ones are the ones who should be avoided.
How do you avoid land/real estate scams in Nigeria?
1.Fix an appointment with a real estate agent/firm,this should come secondary,after giving the firm your area of interest,budget and the title of the property you want,dont give the agent/consultant the impression that you are too rich,that you have no budget,or you actually dont know if you wanted a property with c of o,or the property with just Registered survey and deed of assignment,real estate is not just any type of commodity,it gives you opportunity to owe some part of the map,in the world. Dont give the agent the impression that you can forfeit the money,after all you have more than enough,try to be carefully relational in the transaction.
2.No property scams happens to you online-most people have the believe that once an agent/firm could not give immediate accurate response to a query about a certain property online,then its a scam,meaning that anyone they can get good response online/on phone conversation is ok,so they can now start transfering money,please be careful,most properties comes with alot of interests,so find out if there are conflicting interests to that of the verified owner/owners attorney.
3.INSIST TO MEET THE OWNER-most properties are owned by someone living abroad,its usually difficult to have them come down to Nigeria to append their signature on the agreement paper,prepared by a lawyer.so if you cant meet the owner personally/through a video conference,insist that he appoints someone as his attorney(this is where a power of attorney is necessary) if the attorney of the owner,(need not be a lawyer)is mandated to sell the property and collect the money,then insist to sight the document authorising him/her to sell and collect money.in this case,you will take a copy of the document,photocopy and ask them to re-certify for you at any court nearby.this is to avoid having the owner or his attorney dupe you,and claim they didnt authorise the sale/rent.
3.Visit & inspect the property before you buy.i will not elaborate on this,but there are things you will discover,more than the pictures online.
4.Demand for the documents of the property,this might be very difficult,but atleast it will give you opporturnity to read through the history/root of title of the property.
5.Go with the owner and his attorney to the bank,take the agreement papers there with you,immediately the bank is tranfering the money to him/her,let him/her sign for you before that.in fact conclude signing of the documents at the bank.
6.More coming soon