Common Real Estate Scams Part 2; How to protect yourself from Common Real Estate Scams
- August 27, 2015
Following my initial article on the common real estate scams we come across, here’s a continuation and some little tips on how to avoid them.
First and foremost “if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is”. While there are great deals out there and you do sometimes come across dream opportunities, we all know that old saying for a reason. Working with a known real estate agency can be the best way to protect yourself against many of these scams, although sometimes they might not be able to provide you with exactly what you want, the option of working with a freelance agent now comes into play that is why it is very important for you to do your homework.
Here are some other common scams with my advice on how to avoid them:
Renting Off Plan
In these situations whereby you are asked to make a deposit for a yet to be completed house for rent, it is advisable not to ever go with such options no matter how desperate you are to get an apartment. It is better to go for an already completed apartment.
Agents without a Registered Office Address/Paying into Agent’s account without owner’s written authority
Sometimes you might come across genuine agents who don’t have offices, but I tell you, you might not get lucky all the time and eventually fall a victim one day. Whenever you find a property you are interested in and want to pay for, always make sure you are paying into the account of a company name of either the owner of the property or the agency in charge of the property.
Buying a property without proper investigation
Before you buy a property always make sure you collect photocopies of the necessary documents, then go to the Lands Registry and do your search to know if the vendor/seller is the rightful owner of the property. Questions such as these should be answered: is the land free from any pending litigation? Is the land subject to any of the over-riding interests such as short leases, licenses, roads or right of way? Is the property under government acquisition?
If it’s a home you are buying make sure you go to Lagos State Physical Planning And Development Authority (LASPPDA), under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPP&UD) and investigate if the house has a government approval. It is advisable to get a lawyer to do all these necessary searches for you.
It is easier to get referrals from someone you know that has purchased a home/land or rented an apartment, and got a satisfactory result from an agent. Con artists rarely do legitimate sales or rentals so if your friend or family member got what they were promised from an agent, that agent is probably okay.
Have a nice day.