Either you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, in this guide, you will find all the information you need to get started (or continue) investing in Nigeria's online real estate market.
To start, you need the right keywords to use in your search. With the right keyword, there is no limit to your exploration. I recommend you use only on verified websites such as PropertyPro.ng and Jumia Deals to avoid falling victim to scammers. Going on these websites won’t —remain vigilant.
You can detect if a website is legitimate by:
This step also helps in facilitating your decision on which aspect of real estate you would like to invest in.
While you can invest in the comfort of your phone, it is also important to be cautious. Hence, the need for a real estate lawyer or a real estate agent.
To talk to seasoned professionals, we recommend booking a time with Nigerian-based experts to help your search. A real estate lawyer is your foot soldier. They will offer the following services, among others:
Your lawyer or agent should always physically verify whatever you have researched online.
Now that you have narrowed down your choices and hired a professional, the next step is to research the market with your lawyer or agent.
This is to ensure that the property is well located. I’m certain you desire good returns from your investment. So, you can’t take chances on the location of the proposed real estate investment.
If you are considering rental investment; either commercial or residential, location is important. You need to check if the location is habitable and perfect for development. Check if the location is growth friendly for your investment returns. If you want to flip the properties, you need to be more strategic and consider the rate of development in the area in tandem with how soon you want to see your investment return.
We include details of the location of most property in our free Nigerian Real Estate Due Diligence report.
Verification of the title documents to a property is a crucial and indispensable step.
Location of a property determines the type of title you will possess. Location in terms of whether it is in a freehold area or Government reserved area (GRA). For GRAs, you get a Deed of Sublease/Assignment with a governor's consent. While you get a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for a freehold.
The deed of sublease/assignment grants a 99 years’ lease on the land after which the Government takes over. You can verify the authenticity of the documents at the Ministry of Lands and Housing of the state where they are situated.
In some states like Oyo state, you might get a deed of conveyance for old properties. This is okay, as it is the equivalent of a C of O.
Other necessary documents are:
All titles will have to be searched for at the land registry and subsequently perfected where need be; the Governor’s consent is a major prerequisite to a perfect land title in a GRA. States like Lagos state and Oyo state have websites where you can make inquiries.
Your lawyer should confirm from the search that the property is not a subject of any lawsuit. Book a free virtual session with a Nigeria-based lawyer that can help with this.
This is a major step in determining the aspect of real estate to invest in. It could determine how soon you get returns (profit) from the investment.
You can also approach other mortgage banks, like FirstTrust Mortgage Bank. Some of these mortgage banks also give out mortgage loans to Nigerians in the diaspora. Before you proceed with any bank, carry out thorough research to understand the terms and conditions of the bank.
Next step for you after sorting out funding is to buy. Do not pay into a personal account if you are buying from a company. Be sure to pay for the company’s bank account. Your lawyer or agent should be at the company’s office or at the property location on the date of payment to ensure the company hands over all documents.
It is safe to conduct your payment transaction in a bank if you are buying from an individual. So, it is good to have a Nigerian bank account. Your Banker and your lawyer or agent will be your witnesses. Seller should hand over all documents to your lawyer in the bank the moment they or their representative confirms receipt of your payment.
Your lawyer should send all original documents from your property to you after the purchase. You could allow your lawyer to keep copies that are needed for title perfection.
Most property buyers don’t understand Nigeria’s insurance schemes. Insurance helps you guard against financial risks and unplanned hazards. The following are some benefits you get:
Insurance covers you, especially in case of disasters. Some insurance firms in Nigeria are; Leadway Assurance, Jaiz Insurance, etc. You can choose by comparing the benefits. Your lawyer can also help with picking a good insurance plan for you for you. Talk to a Nigeria-based legal expert now for a free 30-min virtual session.
One tool I didn’t mention from the start is on your phone.
It is video calling. Research shows that video conferencing fosters collaboration and trust. Use this tool to monitor your property and all ancillary transactions with the help of your lawyer or agent. You can use video conferencing apps like Zoom. Even your WhatsApp or Telegram video calls will do.
Another tool is structure. It is not a physical tool, but it is important. You and your agent or lawyer must have a system for periodic reports. You need to ensure proper documentation of all information for rental investments. Your lawyer or agent should document rental fees, renters’ information, dates, etc.
You can use Google's workspace for this. It is free. You and your agent or lawyer will have access to the documents. And you will see any changes made.
Ask questions. Clarify any doubts you might have about the information you get. Ask until your mind is at peace.
If you wish to expand your investment, repeat the steps again.
Having gone through the steps to take before investing in Nigerian real estate, you can do well in Nigeria’s real estate scene. Follow this guide to invest safely and monitor your investment strictly.
What else could stop you from investing?
Let us in the comments below.