Buying a Property in Nigeria? Legal considerations to know

Legal considerations you should know before buying a property in Nigeria

Buying a property in Nigeria especially Lagos can sometimes feel like navigating a maze. Starting from the multitude of legal considerations and a landscape with potential pitfalls, it’s crucial to arm yourself with the knowledge to make informed decisions and avoid scams. According to Ramos Real Estate, here are some things to consider before buying a property in Nigeria:


Title Verification: This is the foundation of a solid investment. Imagine building a house on shaky ground—it’s a recipe for disaster. Similarly, purchasing property without verifying its title can lead to a plethora of legal headaches. Before you even consider signing on the dotted line, conduct thorough due diligence to confirm the property’s ownership status and ensure it’s free from encumbrances or disputes. Titles in Nigeria include the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), Deed of Assignment, Governor’s Consent, and others. It is crucial to verify the authenticity and validity of these documents to avoid fraudulent transactions. Engage the services of seasoned legal professionals and search at the Land Registry as well. 


Land Documentation: In Nigeria, land documentation can resemble a labyrinth of bureaucratic procedures and paperwork. From Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) to Deeds of Assignment, the array of documents can seem daunting. Ensure that all necessary documents are authentic, up-to-date, and legally binding. Beware of counterfeit documents and always verify the authenticity of the paperwork with the relevant government authorities.


Survey of the property: Carrying out a property survey is very important when purchasing because it helps you determine the exact dimensions and boundaries. It will save you from disputes or arguments once the property’s description matches the physical boundaries in reality. 


Engage a Reputable Real Estate Agency: The advantages of working with a reputable real estate agency like Ramos Real Estate during the process of purchasing your properties are quite numerous. Engaging a competent real-estate agency will guide you through the process, give you market insights on the latest trends, and even facilitate negotiations with the seller because they know the value of properties.


Community and Environmental Considerations: The allure of a picturesque property can sometimes overshadow crucial factors like community dynamics and environmental regulations. Before making a purchase, familiarize yourself with the local community, its customs, and any regulations governing land use and development. Additionally, conduct environmental assessments to identify any potential hazards or restrictions that may impact your investment in the long run. This point is one of the perks of working with authorized real-estate companies like Ramos Real Estate in the purchase of properties.


Financial Prudence: In the frenzy of property acquisition, a lot of people get swept away by emotions and overlook financial considerations. Set a clear budget and stick to it religiously. Factor in additional costs such as taxes, legal fees, and maintenance expenses. Avoid making hasty decisions under pressure and negotiate diligently or let Ramos Real Estate do the negotiations to secure the best possible deal. Remember, patience is key when it comes to real estate investments.


Make sure to get a Purchase Agreement: This agreement is a legally binding document between the buyer and the seller. The purchase agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the property purchase. Here you need to engage the professional services of a lawyer to review and draft a detailed purchase agreement that protects your interests and successfully defines the responsibilities of both parties.


Take over physical possession: Congratulations, you are the latest land owner, what next? Once payment has been made and the transfer of ownership of the original titles, deed of agreement which formally names you as the new owner and other documents listed above have been made, it is advisable to immediately take over physical possession of the purchased property. Nigerian law states that possession is 90 percent of ownership. The next important step is to register your title or interest over the property at the appropriate land registry.


There is more! Stamp duty and taxes are payable on property transactions in Nigeria, ensure to make this payment at the relevant agency to validate your purchase. When making payments, it is expedient to use secure and traceable channels such as banks to protect yourself against fraudulent activities. 


As you embark on the exciting journey of Buying a property in Nigeria, remember that knowledge is your most powerful ally. By understanding and adhering to the legal considerations outlined above, you can safeguard yourself against potential scams and pitfalls. Don’t also forget that your investment journey with trusted real-estate companies like Ramos Real Estate will make the process easier. 

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