You want to acquire a property; accurate steps to take when buying a property.

Property acquisition is a dream of every average Nigerian as it serves as a form of investment. Asides from the investment aspect of owning a property, Michael Thoncroft’s definition of Estate management exposes other reasons for which an individual may want to own property: “with the aim of achieving optimum return, this return may not always be financial but may be in terms of social benefits, status prestige, political power or some other goal or group of goals”. Commonly in Nigeria, the major goal an individual may want to acquire a property is to break out from the yearly responsibility of paying rent to landlords.

Having established the need to acquire a property for whatever goal as it may be unique to the buyer, there are challenges faced in acquiring properties, which includes but not limited to Fraud, Insufficient title and documentation. It is a common knowledge that so many Nigerians have fallen a victim of fraudulent transactions when trying to acquire a property.

Therefore, this article seeks to highlight 5 major steps to take for successful acquisition of property.

Hire a real estate broker and choose your preferred property: A real estate broker is person licensed to negotiate and arrange real estate transactions. He has the duty to write contracts and oversee transactions for sales and purchasing activities on homes, land and properties. As an individual who wants to acquire a property, engaging a real estate broker will save you a lot of time and money, they have a deep knowledge of the market and also have superior negotiating skills.

In addition to the above, a real estate broker can aid in choosing a preferred location based your budget and your goal for acquiring the property.

Verify true owner, do building integrity test, and conduct a research: A broker owes your fiduciary responsibility and hence will conduct all necessary investigations to identify the true owner of the property to be bought. As earlier discussed in the article, a lot of persons have fallen victim of buying from wrong owners as a result of lack of background check. Also, an assessment to determine how reliable the structure is able to carry current and future loads and to fulfill the task for a given time period is paramount, although this done by an engineer.

An environmental/neighborhood research is as good as research on the property itself. This research helps to understood the immediate environment of the property in terms of accessibility and infrastructure.

File all documentation with the state Government for the consent of the Governor:

The Land Use Act prohibits alienation of statutory right of occupancy without the consent of the Governor. This makes it necessary for the holder of a statutory right of occupancy to seek and get the consent of the Governor of the State in which the land is actually situated before selling or alienation of interest in the land, or else the transaction shall be void.

Conduct due diligence on the seller and the property: There cannot be too much

emphasis on checking properly for the title presented by the seller.Further investigation to verify the vendor’s name as well as to determine that there are not any defects in the stated name to the property should be carried out in various registries where records of properties

Make all necessary payment and get all documents:

After all necessary checks have been conducted, required payment should be made including the professional brokerage and legal fee. Do not be too overwhelmed thereby forgetting to retrieve all necessary documents from the seller plus signatures where appropriate.

In conclusion, the need to take adequate caution when transacting on property can not be overemphasized. It is therefore paramount that the steps highlighted above be followed thoroughly during transactions.

Oluwafemi Olowoyeye

Facility/Property Manager