The Real Estate industry in Nigeria is fraught with various issues or cases of people being duped either by estate agents, con artists, and the so-called omoniles. This article gives you an insight into the real estate scams in the Nigerian context, and how it can be avoided.
Another reason people get scammed is that they fail to realize that when an opportunity looks too good to be true, you don’t just jump at the offer. In fact, you should jump past that opportunity.
With the high level of fraud committed within the industry, it is imperative that you protect yourself from being a victim. These various real estate scams can be avoided by working with a reputable real estate agent, company, or developer.
It is unwise to think you can’t be fooled in a real estate transaction while some sellers and buyers are quite honest, there can be some dishonest sellers, agents, or buyers.
The reality is that the trait of dishonesty is not written on anybody’s forehead instead many of these scammers are criminally minded folks who are taking advantage of the system.
Scams in the real estate industry in Nigeria are real but real estate scams are not just a problem peculiar to Nigeria. It is a global issue and there are ways you can protect yourself from being a victim.
So the real question is: how do you know if you’re about to be scammed in a real estate transaction? The truth is you can’t know if you are about to be scammed but there are warning signs and tips you can take to protect yourself against the activities of scammers. Even if you are working with honest people, these are safe ways to approach buying, renting or selling any home.
Recommended Reading: Biggest mistakes to avoid when buying a property
1. Don’t rush the buying/renting process
It is quite possible to find a great deal and you most probably want to act quickly so you don’t lose the offer to someone else but the problem with rushing the buying or renting process is that you have little time to question the real estate transaction.
Step on the brakes of excitement and objectively analyze the deal if it seems too good to be true then it is advisable to step back from such transactions. It is better to be safe than sorry.
2. Verify the person you’re working within the real estate transaction
Do not take whoever you are working with at face value ensure you do your research about that person. This is the digital age, check the person online, ask for referrals from other people and review their past works.
If your gut feeling tells you something is wrong with the person involved in the real estate transaction, then you need to step back and do more research about that person. Don’t work with any person you have no confidence in.
3. Ask questions
Ensure to ask a lot of questions, especially about any unclear issues about the real estate question. Ask the agent the reason for the sale? When there is no reason for the sale, that can be a red flag. Questions are important because they help reveal inconsistencies in real estate transactions.
If you spot any inconsistencies that cannot be reconciled then you need to rethink your involvement in the real estate transaction.
4. Avoid paying cash
If the homeowner or agent is asking you to pay in cash then you should tread carefully of that real estate transaction.
The problem with paying in cash is that the money is not traceable unlike paying in a bank instead you insist on writing checks or paying at the bank as this means of payment does not leave you hanging dry if the transaction goes wrong.
You want to be able to hold someone liable when all is not what they seem; so be careful and avoid payments you can’t trace. If the agent or house owner is unyielding about paying in cash, then you need to step back immediately from that transaction.
5. Email scams
Internet originating scams are not uncommon these days. All the advantages of the digital era have made our life a lot easier, however, they don’t come without harm. When you receive an email that seems suspicious, double-check with your agent before taking any actions requested electronically.
Recommended Reading: Property for sale in Lagos
6. Never skip inspection
A major red flag for any real estate transaction is when the homeowner or agent is trying to discourage you from inspecting the house. If there is nothing suspicious to hide then inspection is not negotiable.
Insist on inspection and if not granted by the homeowner or agent then it is advisable to terminate the real estate transaction immediately.
As a general rule, it is always best to refrain from giving out any personal information or bank information over the Internet or phone, especially if the situation doesn’t feel quite right.
Have you been involved in a real estate scam before or know someone who has?
Conclusion: Real Estate scammers are out there looking for prospects to scam, you can’t know them by facial looks but you can read their actions and take heed. Follow the tips listed above to prevent scammers.
Looking for real estate properties to purchase shouldn’t be a long process you go through, our properties currently listed on our platform all come with different land titles.
Call our sales agent to get the right fit property tailored to meet your budget and lifestyle.
At Zylushomes, we nurture dreams and build reality. Make your dream come to reality when you purchase any of our properties in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Abeokuta etc.