EXPOSED: 7 Common Property Scams by Estate Firms in Lagos
November 6, 2023
If you are scammed after reading this? You have yourself to blame! Here, as a part of Platforms Africa’s Solution Journalism series and Kiin Media mission to promoting all that’s good, are typical scams carried out by real estate /property businesses in Nigeria’s commercial capital
Nigeria’s Lagos State is thriving place with a thriving real estate industry. People frequently look to property and estate companies for help when trying to invest in real estate or find their dream residences.
While many of these businesses have a good reputation and are reliable, some also participate in dishonest practices.
In order to assist you stay alert and safeguard your money, we will outline five typical scams carried out by real estate and property businesses in Lagos State in this post.
1. Phantom Properties:
One of the most prevalent scams involves property companies advertising non-existent properties. Scammers create enticing listings with attractive photos, descriptions, and competitive prices.
Unsuspecting individuals pay upfront fees or deposits, only to discover that the property doesn’t exist. To avoid falling victim, always verify property details and visit the site in person before making any payments.
2. Double Booking:
Another common scam is the double booking of properties. Dishonest estate agents may show the same property to multiple clients, accepting payments from multiple parties.
To prevent this, insist on written agreements and receipts for all transactions, clearly stating the terms and conditions of your deal.
3. Fake Title Documents:
Property scammers sometimes provide fake or forged title documents to appear legitimate. These documents may look convincing, but they hold no legal value.
Always verify the authenticity of title documents with the appropriate government agencies and consult legal experts if necessary.
4. Hidden Fees and Charges:
Some property companies lure clients with low initial prices but burden them with hidden fees and charges later on.
To avoid this, carefully review all contracts and consult a lawyer to ensure you understand the terms and costs associated with your property purchase.
5. Unregistered Companies:
Operating without proper registration is another common scam in Lagos. Unregistered property and estate companies often vanish after receiving payments, leaving clients with no recourse.
Always check the registration status of a company with relevant authorities and seek recommendations from trusted sources before engaging their services.
In the bait-and-switch scam, a property or estate company may advertise a particular property with attractive features, but when clients visit the site or make payments, they are shown a different, less desirable property. This can lead to disappointment and financial loss. To avoid falling for this scam, insist on seeing the exact property you intend to purchase or rent, and document all promises made by the company in writing.
7. Inflated Property Valuations:
Some unscrupulous property companies may overstate the value of a property to entice buyers or investors. They may present inflated appraisals or comparative market analyses that misrepresent the property’s true worth.
It’s essential to conduct your independent valuation or seek the opinion of a certified appraiser to ensure you’re not overpaying for a property based on false information.
SOURCE: Platforms Africa