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Real Estate Investment: How to Avoid Scammers When Buying a Property

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A real estate investment can be very rewarding, especially in developing countries like Nigeria. Owning a property is very satisfying and can give you a sense of security; however, if you are not careful, everything can be shattered in a few minutes.

Just as there are scammers in every business and sector, there are also scammers in the real estate business, and until you fall prey, you might believe you know what you are doing because they always seem so real. 

Therefore, it is only wise that you equip yourself with the right knowledge on how to avoid scammers when buying a property. If this is your interest today, then read on and learn the best strategies to prevent real estate investment scams.

See also: How to Become a Realtor

How to Avoid Scammers When Buying a Property

How to Avoid Scammers When Buying a Property
Source: iStock

Do Your Research

Buying a property is a great achievement, and there are also many legit and reliable real estate companies or agents you can trust. Still, you need to get all the information you need about the property and to be on the safer side, it is not advisable to rely solely on the information the seller provides. 

Do your research and verify every piece of information the seller has provided. Look up the title and ownership history of the property, the average price of properties in that area, the credibility of the developers and so on. 

Seek Legal Assistance

An experienced lawyer or real estate agent can guide you through the process of conducting due diligence and research for the property you intend to buy. They will help ensure all legal requirements are met, so do not hesitate to hire a lawyer or a reputable real estate agent when buying a property; it will save you from real estate scams. 

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Avoid Rushing

It is natural to be elated when you finally find that property with everything you desire and at the right price, but you need to step on the brakes if you do not want to fall prey to scammers. Being safe is better than being sorry, so take your time to evaluate the property and the agreement logically and follow all the required processes one step at a time. 

Do not rush to make payments or sign documents when you are not entirely sure of what you are committing to, even when the property seems too good to be ignored. 

How to Avoid Scammers When Buying a Property
Source: iStock

Look Out for the Seller’s Identity

Before you proceed with the transaction, make sure you verify the seller’s identity and legitimacy, ask for valid means of identification, and cross-check them with their official records or documents.

It is best to use a reputable and licensed real estate company or agent when purchasing properties so you can rest assured that they can be held responsible if things don’t go as planned. 

Beware of Unrealistic Offers

If a real estate deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is; no good property is cheap. So when you hear a ridiculously low price for a property you expect to be more expensive, don’t rush to make payment for it. It would be best if you took your time to understand the value of such properties in the current market; scammers often use attractive price tags to bait potential buyers. 

See also: How to Start a Real Estate Business in Nigeria

Ask Questions Before you Make any Commitment

Before you sign, pay or commit to any deal, ask questions thoroughly, regardless of how insignificant it may be. Do not be too pressured or intimidated to ask intelligent questions because once you sign the documents and make payment, any questions you have will be invalidated. 

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Avoid High-pressure Sales Tactics

If you feel pressured to make a purchase or a decision, you should take a step back and reassess the offer. It is very common for scammers to want to pressure you and make you buy a property without having time to conduct research or ask questions about the property. 

They will make you feel you will lose the property if you don’t act fast and will not get any opportunities like that again. Do not fall for these pressure tactics; carefully carry out your due diligence, and always know that there are so many good properties out there, so if it isn’t this one, you will find another one.

Go for Inspection

If you want to invest in real estate, you should always be ready to see a property before buying it; this is the most essential tip for avoiding real estate scams. You need to inspect the property, ensure you are getting value for your money, and confirm that the property is just as it was described. If you can’t go, send someone you trust to inspect it. 

How to Avoid Scammers When Buying a Property
Source: iStock

Don’t be pressured or convinced to buy a property you have not seen, especially from online sellers. Also, if a seller tries to talk you out of inspecting the property you are trying to buy, it may be a red flag. So you must keep an open mind and insist on attending an inspection. 

Never Pay Cash

It is not advisable to pay for a property in cash because it will be difficult to keep track of the transaction, and you may not have any evidence that you gave money to anyone. So when making payment for any property, it is better to issue a cheque, pay at the bank, or pay at an office or establishment and ensure you get a receipt. 

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Do not make transactions that cannot be traced anywhere, and if the dealer doesn’t agree to your terms, you need to back off and find another dealer.

Check-in With Others

Another vital tip on how to avoid scammers when buying a property is to seek advice from trusted family, friends or colleagues who have experience in real estate investments so you can get a second opinion on the property you are buying. The insights and experience will also help you avoid potential pitfalls. 

See also: 6 Best Books on Real Estate Investing

These 10 effective tips will guide you to avoid scammers in real estate investments. Neglecting essential things like this is the only reason people fall prey to scammers, so you must not overlook any of them.

If you want to purchase a property soon, adhere to these guidelines that we have discussed above and stay cautious throughout the process so you can safeguard yourself from real estate scams. Also, remember to be patient, follow due diligence and seek professional advice to ensure a safe and successful real estate investment.

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