BEFORE YOU PURCHASE THAT LAND (2)
- March 24, 2017
Jane is a freelance makeup artist and a certified holistic massage therapist. After three years of scraping and saving to keep her head above water in a saturated beauty industry, she strikes gold. A multinational beauty company appoints her as their regional creative director for the West African arm of their brand. The salary plus benefits are attractive, and Jane is living her dream.
Enter Mr. Fantastic ( remember him?). Jane is introduced to Mr. Fantastic at a cocktail party. He tells her that he has several choice properties for sale on Kasuwa road( does this sound familiar?). Kasuwa road is close to the proposed Delta International Airport, and the new seaport- an investor’s dream. The prices are attractive- a steal.
After a few meetings, Jane is concerned that Mr. Fantastic is up to some tricks. He seems unwilling to take her to view the land, neither does he show her the title documents of the property.
Her lawyer, Mr. Olawale does not trust Mr Fantastic and counsels Jane not to part with her money until she inspects the title documents, and the property itself. He also persuades her to conduct a land verification search.
Should she take Mr. Fantastic’s great offer while it lasts, or should she listen to her lawyer?
In our last offering, John made some mistakes that cost him his life savings. We also introduced five guidelines to follow to avoid those mistakes. As promised, here are five more…
#6. Value Assessment/ Investigation
Before committing precious time and hard earned money to an investment in land, it is important to assess and investigate the value of the property. If Mr Fantastic approaches Jane with a mouth watering offer she cannot refuse, the wise thing to do would be to employ the services of an estate valuation firm to determine the value of the land. This prevents the buyer from making a bad investment in property. For instance, proper valuation would prevent one from buying land in inhabitable areas, or areas that are unsuitable for the purpose of the buyer.
Do not give in to the puffs and gimmicks of the seller, without making your own discoveries, as to whether the land in question is good value for money, and fits the purpose you wish to put it to.
Please note that estate valuation services come at an extra cost to the prospective buyer. A more affordable alternative is to make inquiries and get information from the internet.
#7. Investigate Taxes and Other Fees
Many people take this guideline for granted. The buyer must investigate the various taxes, fees, and charges involved in the purchase of land. Land transactions are not complete when the buyer and seller barter money for title documents. Charges such as consent fees, land use charges among others may engulf the buyer in debt if he does not consider these charges and plan towards them.
#8. Document the Transaction Details
The buyer must ensure and insist that the transaction is properly documented at all stages. This is to ensure that the transaction is properly evidenced and serves as a safety net for the buyer’s investment. It is important to obtain a receipt at the point of payment, prepare a deed of assignment, and keep all the documents relation to the transaction.
#9. Perfection of Title
Perfection of title simply connotes a process of completing the sale in which the parties to the land transaction obtain the consent of the Governor, stamp and register the title documents relating to the transaction. It is when this is done that the full legal ownership rights will pass from the seller to the buyer.
#10. Take Possession
This step is self explanatory. After the transaction has been completed, the buyer should take possession of the land immediately, in order to discourage trespassers from coming upon the land. This would also discourage a crafty seller from selling the same land to a subsequent buyer. The buyer may erect a fence around the perimeter of the land, put notices and signs, or start developing the land immediately after purchase is completed.
With these steps, prospective real estate investors have the basic information needed to purchase land. On a final note, it is necessary for prospective investors in the real estate market to seek knowledge and information to be able to plan better, and avoid several mistakes that come with devastating effects.
As always, it would be wise to consult certified real estate professionals for proper guidance.