Property Lawyer in Lagos Nigeria – Find Out Why You Need a Property Lawyer Before You Buy Your First Land from Real Estate Agents or Property Developers
Everybody hates a lawyer until they need one. The present generation has a wanton habit of dispensing with the need for a lawyer in their endeavours, because of the misconception all held impression that lawyers are troublemakers. The belief is that when you need a lawyer, then you must be in real legal trouble. My kinsman, you are wrong. Terribly wrong.
To put your misconception in correct perspective, the truth is that you need a lawyer even before getting into that legal trouble you talk about. In fact, when you use a lawyer, you are basically saving yourself from legal trouble in the first place. Do not forget that Criminal law is not the only area of law that lawyers practise. There are a lot of activities that suggest the need for a lawyer.
Take for instance the purchase of a landed property or acquisition of an estate, the participation of a solicitor is as fundamental as the hard-earned money that the purchaser of land parts with. Imagine acquiring a landed property and twenty years down the line, somebody hits you up with litigation on the property and claim that you have a defective title or you do not have a valid title at all. Imagine the trauma. Now, compare it with a property title perfected in the hands of a legal expert. Mind-resting!
You may want to know, the role of a lawyer far surpasses merely sitting down in the negotiation room and preparing the Deed of transfer of the land to the purchaser. A lawyer will usually visit the State Lands Registry on your behalf to first verify that the land is not encumbered by any adverse title, one that will prevent you from enjoying peaceable possession of the land. Even after purchasing of the land, it is the job of a lawyer to process the required documents at the same registry to perfect your title on the land. Perfection may include an application for and obtention of a Certification of Occupancy, registration of transfer instruments e.t.c.
Now, when you enter the office of a lawyer to act as a solicitor on your behalf in respect of a property transaction, you may want to know how available he is for your brief. Below are the features of an available property or real estate lawyer:
- Some lawyers can decide to practise law on a part-time basis and are hardly ever available to ensure quick closure to simple property transactions. Your solicitor should be one that is fully dedicated to the legal work, not a lawyer-cum-businessman.
- Your solicitor must have the proper license to practise law in whatever state you are doing your property deals in.
- Your solicitor should have good knowledge of the area and surrounding areas in which you have property deals in.
- Just like real estate agents, real estate attorneys have a reputation of being confrontational and pushy. In some respects, this is not always bad; real estate is such a complicated subject that you sometimes need someone who is willing to go the extra mile and be adversarial if need be. A good real estate lawyer should, however, have great interpersonal skills and be friendly.
Real estate lawyers have to sit and negotiate sales contracts and come to satisfying resolutions to disputes. Most importantly, they should be able to put you at ease as you deal with these issues.
- Since nobody likes a protracted legal battle, where there is a legal dispute with respect to land or property, a good real estate lawyer should have some measure of creativity if he is to bring a dispute or sale to a close. Even a fairly standard real estate transaction has a lot of processes that need to be navigated. A sharp creative mind will definitely help.
- Real estate negotiations have so many moving parts that any good lawyer handling them will need particularly sharp analytical skills. This is especially important for more difficult disputes since you need to have all your bases covered. There are usually at least a few courses of action in a real estate dispute or sale and a good lawyer will look at every angle and decide which course of action is best for you.
- Finally, a good real estate lawyer should have perseverance. Just about anything can happen in a complicated real estate deal and a lawyer should be ready to spend time negotiating and fighting for your best interests.
Need a property lawyer for land verification, regularization, and documentation?
RIDWAN AYANBIYI, ESQ.