Cutting corners in businesses my offer immediate gain but the joy is often short-lived. The pains and anguish that results from the eventual loss of an improperly conducted property transaction, for instance, may not be limited to only the parties involved in the deal. Their wives, children, friends and other family members may be dragged along too.
About a couple of years ago, Mr. Anvil Richard bought a piece of land on the fast-growing district for N600, 000. He thought he was being smart by concluding the deal with the acclaimed traditional landowners, popularly called ‘Omo-onile’, who gave him the title document with a receipt.
Richard knew he would have to part with N30, 000 if a property consultant or a lawyer was brought into the deal. The amount, representing 10 per cent of the total cost of the property, is the professional fee usually charged for such a transaction.
For security reasons, he fenced in the portion he had acquired and fixed a gate at the entrance. He was paying regular visits to the place, clearing the bush to keep it tidy. He however received the shock of his life two months ago when he discovered that a big structure was being constructed on the land. He was livid. In anger, he traced the man who sold the land to him and demanded an explanation. He was told that it was the head of the landowners’ family that needed the place. And that nobody dared question his (the leader’s) authority. In trying to placate him, they offered him another place farther inside which was swampy. He instantly rejected it. Richard is considering taking the matter to court. The land is said to currently worth over N30million.
It is important to involve a lawyer in any property transactions to avoid being duped or cheated. In the specific case of Richard, it is a lawyer’s responsibility to verify the genuineness of the real identity of the real owner and the title document. Before advising the potential buyer to pay, it must also be established if the land is under government’s acquisition.
But people complain that land or home buying has become legally more complicated than ever before. Even experts admit that land/home sale disclosures and verifications have become endless.
In defense of this situation, it is mostly to protect the seller, realty agent and lender from lawsuits later on. However, the process of acquiring a home in particular is still simple: Find a house you like, make an offer to buy to the seller who may accept usually after back and forth negotiation; you will then have the house professionally inspected to minimize chances of undisclosed defects; arrange the payment; close the title transfer and then move in.
Richard’s insistence on either his original land or another with equal value in a choice area in the district is in tandem with experts’ view. The smartest homebuyers consider their home as their major lifetime investment. Its location is obviously extremely important to making a profitable purchase decision. They advise people to buy in the best community and best location they can afford. You are enjoined not to be afraid to stretch your budget – almost every homebuyer complies.
Of course, people buy property primarily for the emotional security and stability benefits. however most property buyers often fail to take an objective look at their purchase as a significant lifetime investment because they figure that they will be moving in a few years.
Another strategy is to seek a mortgage finance of the property. A written mortgage loan commitment, usually subject to reasonable conditions, such as a satisfactory appraisal of the home being purchased and thorough investigation of the borrower/buyer and seller/landowner will expose any dubious intentions.
Besides the wisdom of utilizing the fund saved in the process for some other vital things, any parties involved in the transaction with fraudulent intent will pull out once they know you are involving a mortgage firm in the deal.
Essential points to consider:
As we conclude, listed below are the essential points of note in property transactions.
- Never undertake any property transaction until you have verified the real owner and the genuineness of the deal.
- You may need the services of a creditable property consultant or lawyer.
- Explore the mortgage option to further expose any party with fraudulent intent.
- The more visible the location the lower the chance of being duped.