Real Estate Attorney Lagos Nigeria - Free Real Estate Attorneys Guide

real estate attorney lagos nigeria africa

Real estate attorney guide Lagos Nigeria - Real estate attorneys are a necessary evil in the property purchase process. You cannot do without employing the services of real estate lawyers if you intend to buy a property and have a trouble-free transaction.

Since that is the case, why do I refer to them as 'necessary evil'?

Well, it's not me. I am only speaking from the perspective of the average home buyer in Lagos Nigeria.

You see, real estate lawyers do not offer their services cheap. The average real estate attorney has a fee structure that is similar to that of the average Nigeria real estate agent.

Real estate attorneys in Lagos Nigeria often charge . . .

  • 5 percent of the property sale price (for sale transaction) and
  • 10 percent of 2 years rent for rental property transaction

    This is exactly the same fees or real estate commission charged by Lagos Nigeria real estate agents for the same category of transactions mentioned above.

    Of course, there is room for negotiation. And how low you can negotiate those fees depend on the value of the transaction.

    Bottom line.

    The home buyer, first time home buyer or seasoned investor, pays commission or fees to two parties . . . the real estate agent and the real estate lawyer involved in the transaction.

    You can imagine how the buyer must feel. Perhaps the property buyer will smile more if the attorney fees was halved. Or if there is no real estate lawyer fee at all. But that isn't going to happen.

    Tips For Choosing Real Estate Attorneys

    You already know what kind of property you want. You know the location where you want the property. And sometimes, you may even have found a property that meets your requirements through a Lagos Nigeria real estate agent.

    What you need now is a real estate lawyer to draw up the real estate contract and advice you on the fine points of Lagos real estate law.

    Please take note of the following points when engaging one of the many real estate lawyers in Lagos Nigeria or anywhere else in Nigeria.

    1. Choose A Practicing Lawyer

    Some lawyers work with a law firm while handling some legal issues on the side. The problem with engaging this kind of lawyer is this . . . the lawyer has divided loyalty.

    The lawyer is trying to keep his job while at the same time trying to please you, his customer. If there is a conflict in terms of resource allocation (e.g. time conflict), he will respond to his office commitments before attending to you because he still wants to keep his job in the law firm where he works.

    Trust me, being left hanging is not a pleasant experience.

    2. Attention To Detail

    This follows from the previous discussion above about using a practicing lawyer with an established law firm.

    A real estate attorney who works in a legal firm but who does personal side deals may have issues with attention to detail.

    For example, a friend bought a plot of land in a community somewhere in Ayobo area of Lagos Nigeria. The neighbours said the land was free of government acquisition. The real estate lawyer was suppose to verify the status of the land with the Bureau of lands at Alausa Ikeja Lagos before advising his client to make payment.

    Sadly, the lawyer advised his client to make payment based on the general belief in the neighbourhood that the land was free of government acquisition.

    The lawyer said "if people in the neighbourhood are confident that the area is free of government acquisition, it's likely that they are right. People living in an area generally know if it is under government acquisition".

    Bottom line.

    He didn't check with the state bureau of lands. Sadly, it turned out that the land was categorized as "committed land" by the state government. Therefore, my friend could not process the title registration with the Lagos state government.

    Why would a real estate lawyer make that kind of expensive assumption?

    Simple answer.

    He was not a lawyer with private practice. He was a lawyer working in a company and doing private practice by the side. Most likely he had a tight schedule that week and so couldn't do appropriate check. A practicing real estate lawyer with an office fully dedicated to the practice of real estate law, someone who eats and breathes real estate law, wouldn't take things for granted.

    3. Use Common Sense

    It is true that lawyers are called learned colleagues.

    Indeed, they are learned. They know the law.

    Unfortunately, the desire for personal gain can sometimes influence the advice offered by a legal professional.

    For example, the average real estate attorney in Lagos Nigeria is also into real estate consultancy. That means that many real estate lawyers are also real estate agents . . . they offer houses for sale and rent just like the average estate agent in Lagos Nigeria or anywhere else in Nigeria.

    So, when you invite your lawyer to look at a house you wish to buy and you ask for his opinion, his opinion may be coloured by the fact that he is a lawyer-agent who is interested in collecting the real estate commission due the real estate agent you have engaged before bringing him into the picture.

    Your lawyer then may be tempted to discredit the transaction in some way so he can offer you another house.

    What does a lawyer gain by discrediting a deal that is not really a bad deal?

    He gives himself an opportunity to earn commission both ways . . . as an estate agent and as a lawyer.

    My advice?

    Use common sense.

    If your lawyer gives you advice, weigh the advice based on common sense. What is right is usually obvious. And what is crooked is always crooked.

    Remember that your real estate attorney will give you advice. But the decision is yours to make.

    Of course, this does not mean ALL lawyers cannot be trusted to deal fairly and justly with conflict of interest issues. But, hey, there are bad eggs in every profession. And lawyers are also human.

    Related Content:

    Apartment Guide

    Buying A House

    How To Build A House

    How To Sell Your House

    Bank Owned Properties

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