How Some Nigerians Abroad Ruin their Real Estate Investment Goals And How to Avoid It


You’ve worked so hard for your money, and being out of your country, you are probably too busy or less informed on how to partake in other investment opportunity and you just don’t like the idea of leaving your money in a bank of another country for too long.

I am sure you can relate to that scenario.

So, as a smart Nigerian, you’ve decided to invest in real estate in Nigeria. But you don’t know how to go about it and you decide to do it your own way. However, your own way of purchasing landed property in Nigeria, may at the end of the day sabotage your investment goal even before you know it.

This is why I have decided to write this article today on some common ways some Nigerians abroad may be ruining their real estate investment journey and how to avoid it.

4 Basic Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Real Estate Investment Goals

1. I Will Buy When I Come to Nigeria

One of the top response I do get from people in the diaspora is ‘when I visit I will buy’.

You see, real estate does not wait for no man. In developing areas like Ibeju Lekki, the rate at which property appreciates is so fast that if you delay a minute, you may be buying that same property times two of the old price.

Property appreciates because of some factors and development is one of them. The more development happens on a land, the higher the price. A typical example is Amen Estate Phase 2, which went from N10m in 2017 to N12m in early 2018 and now (June 2019), it’s selling for N15m. UPDATE: A plot in Amen Estate 2, as at October 2020, is now N17m.

Assuming you’ve wanted to invest in Amen Estate Phase 2 in 2018 when it was still selling for N12m but you decided to buy it when you come down to Nigeria in 2019, you would be buying at N15m. That is an additional cost of N3m. If you have bought in 2018, then by the time you visit Nigeria to inspect, your property would have appreciated by a whopping N3m.

So, when you decide to buy property by the time you visit Nigeria, you may be paying more.

2. Someone Will Inspect for Me

Yes, there is nothing wrong with this. It is quite understandable. You are not in the country to physically inspect the property you intend to buy, right? So the next option is to ask a friend or relative to go inspect the property on your behalf.

In as much as nothing is wrong with this option, you may be ruining your property acquisition process if you are not careful.

First, because your friend or relative is not the person buying, they won’t have an interest in it and may take forever for them to be available for the inspection.

Secondly, most people leave the decision to the person that is inspecting for them. In most cases, this sabotages on their real estate investment goals. Because only you know why you want to buy the property, your friend or relative doesn’t know.

Your purpose of buying may be for investment because of a certain development in the area, your friend or relative might get there and told you it is too far and you will base your buying decision on his feedback. This alone has made a lot of people lost good deals.

So what’s the solution to this problem?

You have your purpose of buying a particular property, don’t let someone else dictate for you. Their job is just to go and see if the property actually exists and then to confirm if all you’ve been told about the property is correct.

You see, we are in the information technology age and I use this tech a lot to ease property acquisition. You can inspect a particular property without being there physically.

For the record, over 80% of my real estate clients are those abroad and 95% of them did not do any physical inspection before proceeding with payment.

Here is how I help people abroad through their property purchase without physical inspection in 5 simple steps;

  • We chose a particular time convenient and I’ll go to the property to do a live video call. At times, I will even do a live video of the neighbourhood for some who requested it.
  • Then, together, we will pick a desired plot on the estate layout. This is the spot that will be allocated to them.
  • Then they proceed with the payment process.
  • I will proceed with their land documents. At this stage, I do send the documents to those that requested it while some have their friends or relatives to pick it up for them. And some preferred I keep it for them till they visit.
  • And on the day of physical allocation of plots, their friends/relatives represent them. Some request I represent them and I’ll do a live video call for them to experience all the process live.

With the internet, you can get things done easily but still, you need to be very careful with this method not to fall to fraud.

If you’ll have to go for this option, you can always talk to me and I’ll help you throughout the whole property purchase process.

You can as well ask a friend or relative to inspect on your behalf and as well have me do the live video at the same time. The most important aspect is making sure you send someone who has the same investment foresight for the inspection.

3. My Friend or Relative Has the Final Say

Well, I believe it’s normal to trust a friend or relative, especially one that you’ve bestowed the duty to inspect a property on for you here in Nigeria.

Yes, I totally understand. But the bigger question is, do they have the same investment foresight as you? Do they know your purpose of buying?

In the past, I have met some prospects who requested their friends or relatives go with me to inspect and at the end of the inspection, negative feedback was given. While some prospects will open up to me, some will not.

Out of the few that opens up, ‘distance’ and ‘prone to flood’ tops the feedback. Why there is nothing wrong with this type of feedback, you accepting and basing your buying decision on that is what I don’t seem to understand. As in, are they the ones buying or you?
‘Prone to flood’? Some people believed that someday, to their own reasoning, water will wipe out the whole of Lagos island and they will base their inspection experience on that.

I believed you must have done your research on the particular property and maybe, for instance, you were told the property is about an hour drive from Ajah and you’ve known that already. Then someone you sent on your behalf happens to be coming from Agege (Lagos mainland), the distance to the site will be tripled and the person might be judging from his own angle saying it’s too far.

Too far from where exactly? Not to mention that some friends or relatives also want to ‘chop’ from your money.

Secondly, aside from distance, this person may not have the same level of foresight you have. He/she may not know the real reason you are buying the property. The person might get to the site and see bush instead of seeing the goldmine that’s about to explode which will surely shoot up property value in the area.

Now, basing your purchasing decision on that kind of negative feedback might deny you of a very good real estate deal. Believe me, some people have lost such good deals in the past and are still regretting it.

But once you find an honest realtor who can go extra miles for you, ask all your questions and see everything you wish to see, then you can weigh your friend’s feedback with your realtors’ and make an informed decision.

4. Pay through a Friend or Relative

Many people make this mistake most of the time when purchasing real estate in Nigeria. For some reasons, some intending real estate investors find it hard to trust the property seller.

Well, this is Nigeria and I can relate with you.

At the same time, I am not saying you shouldn’t trust your brother or sister or your close friends for that matter, but sending money to a third party for a property purchase may be the fastest way to lose your money or except if you are buying directly from omo onile then it’s fine.

But if you are dealing with a trusted real estate company or developer, I will advise you to pay directly to the company’s corporate bank account.

If you can’t transfer directly from abroad and you don’t have a Naira account you can pay from, you can use financial services like Wave (not affiliated with them) to send money to Nigeria easily. When you handle your transactions yourself, you will be able to keep proof of payment and as well avoid losing your money.

In conclusion, do your diligent research on that property you intend to buy, hear from your representative in Nigeria and your real estate consultant before parting away with your hard-earned money and you will be safe.

Are you looking to invest in safe real estate in Nigeria, talk to me (call or WhatsApp) on 08036129474 or click here to see a list of our available properties in Nigeria.

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    Oyedepo John is the MD/CEO of Landicon Realtors Ltd. He gives professional real estate advice and helps smart investors make profitable real estate investments for high ROI, thereby creating wealthy landlords.