By Dennis Isong
Last year, Mr. Ezekiel was looking for a small house to buy so that he can stay there anytime he comes to Lagos (his family is in Benin and he doesn’t want to keep renting an apartment because of his experiences with people).
There was a signpost of a real estate company he used to see anytime he was on his way to work. Then, he decided to make inquiries from them.
He was ushered in with so much excitement as if they had been waiting for him all along. He thought, well, maybe it’s part of customer care service.
Then, he described the kind of property he wanted and they said they don’t have it yet but tried to convince him to buy land. He yielded after so much persuasion.
He was told that it would take a few weeks before he can be allocated and Mr. Ezekiel was fine with it.
On the week of allocation, excuses kept falling on excuses from the real estate company. Initially, Mr. Ezekiel didn’t have any reason to doubt but at some point, he felt uncomfortable and decided to go with a friend.
The real estate company sent someone to take them to the place. On getting there, Mr. Ezekiel was shown the land and this representative found a way to excuse himself that he would be back unknown to Mr. Ezekiel and his friend that the guy had absconded, leaving them there.
Some minutes later, a man approached them and asked them what they wanted. Mr. Ezekiel said he had come to inspect his land. The man gave a roaring laughter and he said, “It’s your turn today. Anyway, this land belongs to Alhaji Umaru and if you walk another 2 miles, you will see a cattle ranch which also belongs to Alhaji. If you claim to have bought this land, the only person that can sell it to you is Alhaji.”
Apparently, Mr. Ezekiel was not allocated. He was just taken somewhere so that he can get off their back.
Mr. Ezekiel was furious and dashed down to the office. Before he got there, they had moved.
In Nigeria, there are thousands of real estate companies out there. Many of them take your money without allocating land to people that paid. Please don’t pick on any random real estate company because you are seeing their signposts.
When they are done with the evil, they move elsewhere, so it’s difficult to pin them to a location.
How do you avoid falling into the hands of a fake real estate company?
In everything we do, we have to be very patient. I understand the eagerness that comes with wanting to buy a property but, please, breathe!
Because with patience, you can easily spot some things ordinarily you may never have thought of.
- CHECK THEIR PROFILE
No matter the make-believe, fake real estate companies’ profiles are always vague. Yes, they talk about what they do, and at the same time, they are saying nothing. If you notice any disparity, don’t ignore it. Ensure you pay attention to everything they say about their company.
- CHECK THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA TRACK RECORD
You can spot a fake real estate company by checking its social media record. All you need to do is type the name on google. You will get if not all but some information that would inform your decision on whether you should go on or look for another real estate company.
- DOES THEIR OFFICE ADDRESS ON THE PAGE TALLY WITH WHERE YOU ARE ASKED TO SEE THEM?
Any serious real estate company will change its office location on social media platforms if there’s a change of location. When you notice that their office address is completely different from where you are asked to come over, it’s a red flag.
- IS IT A KNOWN COMPANY?
A real estate company that claims to have been in business in Lagos shouldn’t be strange when you mention their name to people. If several people you ask about them do not have any idea who they are, it’s a big red flag.
- ARE THEY REGISTERED?
You can’t have a real estate company and not have it registered. It’s not a business you can do without proper and lawful registration.
If the real estate company you are about to start a property business with isn’t registered, you may want to take a step back.
- CHECK IF THE PLACES THEY CLAIM TO HAVE PROPERTIES IN TRULY EXIST
We can’t know everywhere, even if we live in the same location for years. When they tell you about the location where their properties, don’t wait and do nothing. Do your investigation as well. A fake real estate company is dubious of location, they take advantage of this.
- ARE THEY IN A HURRY TO SELL TO YOU
If you notice any form of desperation, quit!
And the most important thing is that, if your mind isn’t convinced, DON’T DO IT!
Dennis Isong helps Nigerians in diaspora to get property in Lagos easily. Download this gift “Real Estate Guide 101”. Click the link below to download for free https://landproperty.ng/free