Buying land is one of the most important investment decisions that you will ever make in your life. Nigerians traditionally and rightfully attach a great deal of importance to owning a home, and in many cases, buying land is the first step in the journey. Getting scammed is a regular occurrence in most parts of the world.
Below are a few tips to help you avoid being scammed when buying land.
1. Don’t Pay in Cash, Conduct the transaction through a Bank Account and demand for a receipt.
2. Buy the Land through a Registered Real Estate Agent. If you don’t know any, come to us at Osekemi Properties. We are just a phone call away.
3. Don’t pay in installments. If the seller dies before you complete the payment, how will you get the land or obtain your deposits from his family members? A scammer can also increase the selling price of the land and you’ll be forced to raise the extra money since your deposit is already with him. Instead of paying instalments, open a new bank account and start depositing the money there.
4. Lands without Survey Plans are Highly Risky. The survey plan might actually be the biggest proof that a seller has the right to sell the land to you. Before you buy the land, ask for the survey plan, the survey plan at least tells you that the government is aware of the existence of the land. Make sure that the name on the survey plan is the same as the name of the seller.
You should also check if the coordinates on the survey are the same as the coordinates on the beacon on the land. If the seller can’t provide you with the survey, it might be that the land has never been surveyed or that another person owns the land. Whichever way, it might be smarter to let the deal pass.
5. Don’t Pay for a Land until You’ve Examined it Physically
I find it hard to understand how you’ll be comfortable sending money to buy a piece of land that you’ve never seen physically, but some people do it. Before you buy land, you must see the land physically; this will ensure that you are getting value for your money. You’ll know the topography of the land, the kind of neighbourhood and the level of development (if any on the land).
If you can’t visit the land yourself, (maybe you are outside the country), you can send someone you trust to go and help you examine the land physically before you commit to a purchase.