Basics Of Property Purchase documentation Processes In Nigeria by Dennis Isong

In Nigeria, buying a home involves a significant quantity of paperwork that can be complicated and time-consuming. Be sure to comprehend the documentation procedure before committing any money. 
An outline of the documentation procedure for buying property in Nigeria is provided in this article.

Title Search, is the first stage in purchasing a property in Nigeria. This entails checking the legitimacy of the property’s title records with the appropriate government agency. 

A Certificate of Occupancy (CofO), Deed of Assignment, and Registered Survey Plan are among the title documents.

To avoid purchasing a property with a defective title, it is critical to verify the legitimacy of these documents. Any transfer of interest in land without a legal title document is void under Nigerian law (Section 22 of the Land Use Act 1978).

After the Title Search has been completed and the legitimacy of the title documents has been confirmed, the next step is to negotiate the purchase conditions with the seller. 

It is critical to ensure that the terms of the purchase agreement are fully established, including the purchase price, payment periods, and any other applicable circumstances.

After the details of the purchase agreement have been agreed upon, the following stage is to prepare the necessary papers for the transfer of ownership. 

This contains a Deed of Assignment, which transfers ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer, and a Power of Attorney, which gives the buyer the legal right to represent the seller in the transaction.

Obtaining authorization from the Governor of the state in which the property is located is also part of the documentation process. This is required for the title transfer to be registered with the appropriate government body. 

The Consent is obtained by submitting an application and paying the required money to the Governor’s office. Stamp Duties and other taxes must also be paid on the transaction. This includes Capital Gains Tax, which is levied on any profit derived from the property’s sale. To ensure that all tax responsibilities are met, it is critical to contact with a tax specialist.

The documentation process for purchasing property in Nigeria varies based on the type of property and the location of the property. For example, if the property is in a government acquisition area, further evidence may be necessary to demonstrate that it is unaffected by the acquisition.

It is critical that all parties participating in the transaction understand their roles and obligations. This comprises the buyer, seller, legal professionals, and real estate agents. Each stakeholder has a duty to play in ensuring that the documentation process is performed correctly and on time.

Finally, it is vital to know that the documentation procedure in Nigerian property purchases might be vulnerable to fraud and other anomalies. 

Due diligence is therefore required before engaging into any purchase. This includes checking the legitimacy of the title paperwork and physically inspecting the property.

Importance Of Documentation  (1) Legal contracts and agreements are involved in real estate transactions. Documentation provides legal protection in the event of a dispute or legal process. 

Documentation that is properly executed and kept can serve as evidence of the transaction, confirming compliance with legal requirements and shielding participants from potential legal ramifications (Legal Protection).

(2) Verifying the property’s title is a crucial component of real estate documentation. Title documents serve as proof of title and provide information on any encumbrances, liens, or mortgages on the property. 
Verifying the title through adequate documentation is critical to ensuring that the buyer has legal possession of the property and avoiding any future legal problems or challenges to the title (Title Documents).

(3) Financing is frequently involved in real estate transactions, necessitating the use of loan agreements, mortgage deeds, and promissory notes. Proper paperwork is critical in acquiring transaction financing and ensuring that all parties are aware of their financial commitments and responsibilities (Financing).

(4) Documentation is vital while completing property due diligence. This includes checking the legitimacy of the title documents, doing a physical inspection of the property, and analyzing any legal or regulatory requirements that may be applicable.

 Proper documentation ensures that due diligence is performed accurately and fully, lowering the risk of potential legal or financial consequences (Due Diligence).

(5) Documentation serves as record-keeping for the real estate transaction, ensuring that both parties have access to critical information such as purchase agreements, transfer documents, and closing statements.

 This guarantees that all parties are aware of the transaction’s conditions and can refer to the paperwork in the event of a disagreement or inquiry (Record Keeping).

Conclusion: The documentation procedure in Nigerian property buying is difficult and time-consuming, requiring close attention to detail. 

It is critical to retain the services of specialists such as legal counsel and real estate brokers to guide you through the process. 

By doing so, you may ensure that the transaction is executed correctly and avoid any legal or financial consequences that may emerge from incomplete or erroneous documentation.

Documentation is essential in the real estate sector because it ensures legal protection, title verification, financing, due diligence, and record-keeping. Proper documentation decreases the danger of legal or financial ramifications and contributes to a smooth and successful real estate transaction.


Reference: Nigeria Law (1978) Land Use Act. 

Dennis Isong is a TOP REALTOR IN LAGOS. He Helps Nigerians in Diaspora to Own Property In Lagos Nigeria STRESS-FREE. For Questions WhatsApp/Call +2348164741041