It is stupid to think you can’t be fooled in a real estate transaction while some sellers and buyers are trustworthy, there can be some unscrupulous sellers, agents or buyers. The reality is that the trait of dishonesty is not written on anybody’s face instead many of this 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 properties.
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. It is better to be patient and get what you want than to be in a hest and loss your money
Verify the person you’re working with in 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 do more research about that person. Don’t work with any person you have you have doubt about.
Make sure you ask a lot of questions especially about any unclear issue about the real estate question. Ask the agent the reason for the sale? When there is not a reason for the sale, that can be a red flag. Questions are important because they help reveal contrariety in the real estate transactions.
If you spot any contrariety that cannot be resolve, then you need to rethink your involvement in the real estate transaction.
Avoid paying cash
If the landowner or agent is asking you to pay in cash, then you should be very meticulous 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.