Before you buy property in Nigeria, it might interest you to know that hiring good lawyers might be the best decision you’ll make. Many people try to reduce expenses when buying real estate but the fees you’ll pay to a good lawyer is actually an investment into making a stress-free property acquisition. Below are six important reasons to hire a good lawyer when buying property in Nigeria.
1. A Lawyer Makes the Deal Legally Binding
A lawyer drafts the sale and purchase agreement of the land, and the seal of his firm will make the agreement a legally binding document. If you don’t hire a lawyer, all you’ll get from the seller is a sales receipt and probably an adaptation of an agreement. However, if any dispute arises over the land sale, a receipt or typewritten agreement without a lawyer’s seal won’t provide you much coverage.
2. The Lawyers Can Conduct a Robust Due Diligence
Before you buy a land, you’ll need to conduct due diligence on the status of the property. Part of your due diligence includes knowing if the seller has the right to sell the property. You’ll also need to know if the property has been put up as security for a loan, if there’s a court case pending on the property and if the government or its agencies have any interest in the property. Lawyers are the only people with the skill-sets to conduct this kind of due diligence; hence, you’ll be buying any property at your risk if you don’t involve them.
3. Most Fraudsters will Disappear at the Mention of a Lawyer
Fraudsters are always on the wrong side of the law and they’ll take every measure to avoid dealing with people who have knowledge of the law. Hiring a lawyer when you want to acquire a property in Nigeria is a smart way to avoid dealing with potentials scammers. They’ll try every means to convince you not to involve lawyer, and this is a great tip off to alert you that you dealing with con men. In most cases, they won’t even bother with you again if you insist on bringing in a lawyer to handle the purchase of the land.
4. You’ll Have a Relationship with the Lawyer, Should Problems Surface Down the Road
Irrespective of how much due diligence you have conducted and the originality of your property documents, problems can still arise down the road. Some rich folks might just decide that they want to cheat you out of your property. In fact, the original seller might decide that you bought the land too cheaply and that you’ll have to add more money or you’ll either get a refund of your money or forfeit the property.
If you had purchased the land through the assistance of a lawyer, you’ll be able to run up to that lawyer in that instance. For one, the lawyer will have a vested interest in pleading your case since he was involved in the deal. Secondly, the lawyer won’t charge you much money to defend your rights compared to a lawyer who didn’t know about the deal originally.
5. Buying Family Owned Properties Could Be a Nightmare
If you are buying a property from an individual, you are not likely to have many problems inasmuch as the transfer of ownership has been successfully completed. However, the case is not always the same when the property belongs to a family. Sometimes, some members of the family will not be aware of the sale and they’ll show up down the road to tell you that you bought the property illegally.
A lawyer can help you navigate the problems associated with buying family-owned properties. He will ensure that all the family members are aware of the land purchase. A good lawyer will also ensure that the family chooses a representative who will be deemed to have acted in the interest of the whole family.
Source: Nigerian Bulletin