How often have you experienced the sting of losing money, no matter how small the amount? Whether it’s just 1000 Naira or more, the pain is undeniable. Land fraud can inflict a similar sting, but on a much larger scale. Imagine losing millions of your hard-earned Naira to fraudsters, leaving you with nothing to show for it. That kind of loss is unforgettable and deeply painful.

Here are five valuable tips to help you avoid falling victim to land scams:

  • Exercise Patience, Take your Time

Scam agents often employ a common tactic of pressuring you into making quick decisions. This tactic aims to create a sense of urgency, making you believe that the offer is available for only a limited time. However, falling for this pressure can lead to making hasty decisions and potentially falling victim to a scam.

Regardless of how attractive the deal may seem, it’s essential for the agent or property owner to allow you sufficient time to carefully evaluate your options. Rushing into a decision is not advisable, as it may result in making a decision you’ll later regret.

Until you’ve made a payment for the land, the scam hasn’t succeeded. Therefore, it’s crucial to hold onto your money and take your time to verify the owner’s claims thoroughly. Don’t allow the property owner to rush you into making a decision. Politely explain that you require time to conduct due diligence before committing to the purchase and express your preference for not being pressured into important decisions.

  • Inspect Before You Invest, A Golden Rule for Land Buyers

A physical inspection of a land you are interested in incredibly important. Never put yourself in a situation where you have to pay for a land that you have not inspected.

Some people might take such a risk due to pressure or assurance from the scam agent. The buyer might be lucky but this increases the chances of getting into a land fraud.

Before you pay for any land at all, you must carry out an inspection of the property. An inspection lets you know how much value you are getting for your money.

In a situation where you are outside Nigeria and you want to inspect a land, send someone whose judgment you fully trust. This person can carry out an inspection on your behalf.

  • Request For The Survey Plan

There are several documents a seller might present to prove land ownership, with the survey plan being one of them. Request the survey plan from the seller as part of your due diligence before purchasing the land. The survey plan validates government recognition of the land’s existence, so a genuine seller should readily provide it. Verify that the name on the survey plan matches that of the seller to confirm their ownership rights. Ensure the coordinates on the survey plan match those on the land’s beacon before finalizing the purchase. If the seller cannot produce the survey plan, it suggests the land may not have been surveyed or may belong to someone else.

Difficulty obtaining the survey plan from the seller is a red flag; consider walking away from the deal if they cannot provide it.

  • Certificate of Occupancy/ Governor’s Consent

The first individual to claim virgin land not previously owned or subject to government acquisition, is eligible to receive a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O). This official document, issued by the State Government, grants a 99-year lease on the land to the applicant.

Should the C of O holder choose to sell the land in the future, they must obtain the Governor’s consent to validate the transaction in the eyes of the government. This process notifies the Governor and the public of the land’s change in ownership. Subsequent buyers of the land must also obtain the Governor’s consent, ensuring the legal transfer of ownership.

Only one individual can hold the Certificate of Occupancy for a particular piece of land, and once the land is sold or transferred, the certificate cannot be duplicated for another individual.

  • Excessively Low Priced Lands should Raise Flags

Purchasing land comes with a considerable cost. It’s essential not to be misled about this fact. While land in Nigeria may be reasonably priced, it’s rarely “cheap.” If a seller offers you land at an unusually low price, proceed cautiously.

If a piece of land is listed at an excessively low price, it’s likely a red flag for fraud. The price of land is typically influenced by its location. This is why land in upscale areas like Banana Island commands a higher price compared to similar-sized plots in less affluent areas like Ikorodu.

The only scenario where land might be genuinely inexpensive is when the seller is someone with whom you have a personal relationship. For instance, a generous family member might offer a plot of land at a significantly reduced price.

  • Utilize the Expertise of a Real Estate Professional

Rely on the guidance of a seasoned real estate professional to steer clear of land fraud. Their extensive experience in the real estate industry ensures you make informed decisions.

A trustworthy property expert will help you secure the most advantageous deal, offering invaluable insights into the crucial factors to consider before purchasing land.

Instead of using cash, opt for traceable payment methods when purchasing land. Avoid mobile app transfers, as they may not provide the necessary transaction records crucial for land acquisitions.

Conduct your payment transactions in a banking hall, depositing the funds directly into the seller’s account and obtaining a teller as proof of payment. This method ensures a documented trail of the transaction and safeguards your interests in case of any discrepancies.

Always request a receipt for your land purchase, ensuring that the document clearly states “payment for land.” This receipt serves as official documentation of the transaction and protects your investment.

Explore our currently available estates and land plots if you’re seeking a hassle-free land purchase experience with peace of mind. Check them out

 

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