One of the numerous mistakes made by land buyers is pretending they do not have to bother with any legal advice or guidance when they want to purchase a land or property. A property lawyer is trained to handle any issue that emerges in a land transaction that usually, the land buyer won’t recognize. In a typical land purchase transaction, the buyer goes into an agreement with a real estate agent to buy a land. At the point when the agent finds a potential dealer, transactions are led through the agent as a third party between the buyer and the seller. Once an informal understanding is achieved, the purchaser and seller go into a contract of Sale agreement for exchange and transfer of title, et cetera. Finally, the property is exchanged from the seller to the buyer. This appears to be simple, however without a lawyer, the outcome may be disastrous and heartbreaking.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO INVOLVE A LAWYER WHEN CLOSING A LAND TRANSACTION.
It is a common practice in Nigeria that people draw up documents without the aid of a lawyer. The Supreme Court has declared that lawyers in Nigeria must affix the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Stamp and Seal on any legal document that they intend to tender for legal transactions. Every document filed by a lawyer shall be deemed to be improperly signed and filed except it has the stamp issued by the Nigeria Bar Association. The effect of this statement is that anyone who is not a certified lawyer can not draft a legal document. This act will reestablish sanity and stop the procedure of individuals who have no clue on legitimate document drafting from working. it will also allow innocent buyers detect fraudulent individuals posing as lawyers from tendering a fake document.
A document not appropriately drafted, for instance, a (Deed of Assignment) may later in future be superseded by somebody with a very well drafted Deed of Assignment. A while back, a client of mine who is a property merchant drafted a Deed of Assignment, I guess because of his vast experience in the real estate business. He brought the document to me in view of closing a land transaction . Looking at it, it looked perfect but there were some key mistakes on the Deed; the reciter in the Deed did not emphasis the original title; the real owner of the land and if the title of the land was registered or unregistered. So, I redrafted the Deed and it amounted to a double payment of money on the part of the client. Supposing the mistake was not discovered and the Deed had not been redrafted, the effect of this would have been that in the future, if there were to be a dispute as to title in the land, a well drafted Deed of Assignment will override that of a faulted drafted Deed. It is important to note that it is only a lawyer that has the right to prepare a Deed of Assignment when it comes to alienation of interest in land, any other person is an imposter and liable to criminal charges.
It is instructive that one takes proper care and precaution when dealing in any land transaction. It is advisable that you seek the assistance of a real property lawyer that is well trained and vast in such area. Not just anyone can draft a land document. A faulty land document can make the document invalid which might lead to loss of title in property. It is now a law that for any document to be registered, it must have the required seal from the Nigerian Bar Association.
Now you know. Before you sign that contract or document, get a lawyer. Do not let anyone trick you into believing that just anyone can draft a legal land document.