Buying a property in Lagos is no different from buying properties anywhere in Nigeria. The steps are almost the same throughout Nigeria.
However, due to the fact that Lagos state represents the commercial city of the country, citizens both home and in diaspora not excluding Foreigners are always in the business of investing in Lagos state.
Lagos state offers immediate and best return on investments to individual investors and corporate entities. That is why almost 90% of all the commercial companies we have in Nigeria are situate in Lagos state.
The focus of this article is to espouse the mind of the potential property owner and corporate entities as to the steps involved in acquiring a property in Lagos state.
This article will equip the individual or corporate body with the necessary wherewithal of what to look out for when involved in buying a property. The steps shall be discussed bringing to fore landed/Housing properties.
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The steps are summarized thus:
1. Sort Out Your Finances And Budget
In recent years, the cost of acquiring a property in Lagos State especially in some parts of Lagos like Victoria Island’ Lekki’ Ikeja GRA, etc. has become relatively High.
This is because of the continued growth and exposure those areas garner in terms of development. That is why it is highly recommended that a person intending to acquire a property in these parts of Lagos ought to be financially Prepared and available.
For other parts of Lagos’ acquiring Landed properties is subject to a relative consideration. It is advised that an intending property owner shall Prepare his Budget.
The proposed budget shall be bale to cover the cost of acquiring the said property, the cost of hiring an agent or an expert, the cost of drafting the necessary legal documents etc
2. Make Consultations/Hire A Professional
At this stage’ you may have to get the services of a professional like a lawyer or an Estate Manager. These are experts who have gone through the requisite training in property transactions.
It is advisable you sourced for law firms engaged in commercial and property law practice. The essence of engaging the services of a an expert in the field is to avoid being played by fraudsters.
These experts shall have a vital role play throughout the eventualities of your ownership of the property. It must not necessarily be a law firm, as lawyers in private practice are equally capable of undertaking the project.
The services of the lawyer shall include, investigating the tittle of the said property, conducting search on the property to discover both latent and patent defects, to prepare the necessary legal documents and finally to ensure that parties to the transaction got exactly what they bargained for.
3. Search For The Property And Where It Is Located
This is very important because the location of the property has to a large extent an effect on the applicable laws guiding its sale and acquisition.
The factors determining the applicable laws on a particular property transactions depends on the Parties, The nature of the transaction, the location of the property, and the means of effecting the transaction.
This search is highly recommended in order to escape falling into the trap of State laws guiding the sale or purchase of properties. Ignorant of the law does not pose as an excuse.
4. Carry Out An Enquiry On The Property
As a potential acquirer’ it is important you inquire about the title of the property you wish to acquire. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that the buyer gets what he bargains for.
The investigation is necessary in order to ascertain the suitability of the property for the purpose for which the purchaser intends to buy it, the nature of the property, compliance with description, physical condition etc.
It is known as the principle of Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware). Failure to carry out these enquiry may be detrimental to the purchaser in a situation where disagreement ensued in the terms of the contract.
5. Negotiate With The Seller
Negotiation includes as to price, conditions and terms of contract. This will help the purchaser decide in the first place whether or not to go ahead with the execution of a formal contract.
At this stage’ the Lawyer is to aid in the negotiation process to enable the parties come to an agreement. It also involves the preparation and exchange of a formal contract of sale and the payment of initial deposit for the purchase Price. The essence of making a deposit payment is to show commitment or interest in the property.
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6. Deduce The Sellers Tittle
The seller is to give the buyer an abstract and epitome of tittle. This is in order to determine any defect in his tittle to the property.
The importance of deducing tittle is that it assist in the recital or evidence of the history in documents up to 20years old are presumed to be correct.
It also serves as estoppel against all person’s mentioned. The Lawyer is to ensure that proper investigation has being carried out by paying a visit to the Lagos State land registry, company registry, probate registry, traditional evidence, physical inspection are all necessary areas to have investigated.
Afterwards’ the Expert is to prepare a search report and forward to the purchaser. The search report is to tell the purchaser whether the property is free from encumbrance.
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Prepare The Necessary Documents
This involves the preparation of the Deed of assignment. The deed of assignment is executed upon payment of the balance of the purchase price.
The purchaser collects all the title documents including the receipt, land survey, keys to the property if developed and a letter of introduction if there are existing tenants in the property upon the payment of the balance.
Finally, once the above stages has been complied with and there has been the execution of the deed of assignment, the purchaser shall take physical possession of the property and commence the tittle perfection at the Lagos state lands bureau.
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