On the surface, real estate investing seems so easy. Passive income, property appreciation, future benefit, rental benefit, watch it grow, low-risk Investment, financial freedom, long-lasting wealth, a way to tie money down for the future and more.  

In reality, many who are investing are mostly trashing their money without knowing. Here are the mistakes and how you can avoid that subsequently.   

Buyers just visit the “estate” to view it with the developers or marketers, get to their office to collect some documents and fill some forms, make payment… and that’s…  This is the most popular way investors lose their money. If you made this mistake and you didn’t lose the property and neither has it happened to someone you know, just thank God first, then go and verify now before you begin to spend more. And never try that again.  


1. So just because you’re buying from an estate and you see the land with your korokoro eyes automatically guarantees it’s a safe buy???  

How do you even know that the land belongs to the land claimer? or is it just by the sight of a sign board? Wrong wrong wrong.

How about verifying the site (note that an estate is worse these days) to make sure it is free from any government acquisition or any form of encumbrance?, and also authenticating the land documents to make sure they are genuine and then authenticating the histories, the developer and people directly involved?

I can’t begin to mention many stories of loss due to this popular mistake.  

If you think this is hyped, wait until you read from the comment section.

Be careful. Verify.

2. Got property recommendation from a friend/family and just paid for it without verifying the property.  

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not wrong to get recommendations from family and friends. What’s wrong is basing your decision to buy on absolutely word saying without due verification. Ask yourself if the person recommending is a property professional or he has a property professional as an advisory. I’m not referring to marketers as property professionals here o. Marketers are good and loyal but don’t forget that they mostly depend on the information narrated by the developers/sellers and some even go all out to see the property/land but seeing property solves no problem in land verification.


3. You do not understand the difference in land titles that can profit you and the one that can break you. 

There are titles that are generally used across different location like C of O, Governor’s consent, Allocation etc and there are some that are peculiar to different location like Excision. 

Yet, there are some that are stupidly popular but they’re never a title and this alone makes it easy for any Investor to keep losing money. Examples of such “titleless” titles include “Registered Survey”, “Excision In Progress” “Excision in View” etc🙄  You can only know this with the help of an ethical real estate professional like land surveyor, Estate Surveyor, town planner, property lawyer etc

Dear investor, know your title and know it well.


4. Because the land has C of O, Excision, Allocation or Governor’s Consent, you just pay for it. How about authenticating the title? 

Have you heard about counterfeit before? How about cross-checking that the document issued is duly registered with the government? How about comparing the document with the actual property location on site with the help of property expert. How about authenticating the developer/seller as well as the chains of agents marketing to you?  

We’ve received a genuine document, found out the land is free from any known acquisition and yet we realized that those claiming the ownership are entirely false. People do temporary documents just to sell a particular land /property do you know that?


Document may not reveal this to you. But authentication will, with the help of a good and reliable real estate professionals.

5. Because the land is genuine and it’s now yours, investors fail to put a structure.  


It’s either they use your land to dupe others, encroach on all/part of it or they even sell out your land without you knowing… Which one would you prefer?. Next time you’re buying a land, if you cannot yet afford to put structure on it like gatehouse and fencing please don’t buy yet, come back later.   

6. Investors and their lawyers still believe only in the documents

It’s true that the only thing that validates possession of a property is the document it has. 

Beside the fact that there are many fake documents, do you know about the latest Document swapping? Ok, lemme hint you. Do you know that you may have genuine Document but that document might not belong to the property you’re buying? They can use a genuine document belonging to another property/land at the same location to the one you want to buy, and you will never know until you process your planning permit with the government in the case of vacant land or when the government comes around for monitoring in the case of existing property.


Of course it’ll look the same for someone who strictly rely on document or someone who knows nothing about land issue. But the coordinates will never be the same as long as it’s a different site. This you will not find out until it’s too late.

When some dubious people realize that the property they want to sell doesn’t have a genuine title, all they have to do is to use the general genuine document in the area to sell the property without title. So when your lawyer search it, it’s genuine, but when the deal is closed, you’ll find yourself and your lawyer in court.  

This is especially peculiar for some of the recent estates where they don’t have genuine title but they end up sending the genuine document of the general village to dupe unsuspecting buyers.


7. They tell you it has global C of O or Excision and you just went ahead and seal the deal. 

Majority of our titled loss investors report are due to this. Before you jubilate on the said title, please go with a surveyor to confirm that the property you’re interested in falls within the said global C of O and Excision.  

When will investors wake up to stop losses from simple avoidable information. Sometimes you don’t want to pay to verify ABI? But you risk buying loss with bigger money? It’s ok. Continue.

8. Because you’re buying in an estate, you did not do inspection together with a surveyor before payment. 

When a surveyor visit the (estate) site with you, he charts the land and correlates the said land coordinates with the one on paper. This is one major reason people keep losing money because investor already thinks since (s) he is buying from estate, they must have taken away the risk.  

Say what? They’re human and business owners. Do your part and stop deceiving yourself.


The majority of the nowadays losses are through estates because buyers have slacked from simple verification to “they have handled it”.

9. So because you went on site with the surveyor automatically guarantees it’s a yes once surveyor says it is. 

What surveyor does is to confirm if it’s free from government acquisition or not. And also to confirm if the survey being given tallies with the actual physical location of land. Survey plan do not authenticate the owner of the land. In fact we’ve seen cases where survey plan’s name are different from title documents/owners name and it will not be accepted when processing your building plan approval documents with the government. Neither will such contradiction allow any buyer to perfect their titles.


So how about researching the lineage of previous transaction if it’s stolen property, disputed property or even wrong ownership property?  

10. The property seller/developer insist you will use their surveyor to verify and you agree😪  

Where are you from please? Must you buy there?  Now I’m not saying you should not use their surveyor to do your survey after purchase. What I’m talking about is using their surveyor to verify the land you want to buy from same body? I mean the verification you do before paying for a property? You don’t get? Please think carefully before you do that…

Don’t let spell work on you. Open your eyes. 

11. You do not understand some of the terms being used.  


An Investor sometimes assume he understands everything about Investment and so he kept nodding in specified field so as not to look foolish. Why being shy when it’s your money being at stake here?  Investor! Investor!! Investor!!! How many times did I call you?  



If you don’t understand, seek clarification. If you still don’t understand, Abeg Waka pass.  

If they call you fool, rock that name with grace as long as your money is still sleeping in your account.  

Ask questions and be satisfied or just be passing by.

12. You assume it doesn’t really matter when the estate you’re buying doesn’t have an approved layout.  



Have you ever asked yourself about the reason for the recurring demolition without compensation?  

Or you think it doesn’t happen to estates too?  

Don’t deceive yourself o. Take a tour to Ibeju-Lekki and I’ll show you demolished estates.  

When there’s no approved layout, there’s no building approval and when there’s no building approval, anything can happen whether you’re there or in the nearest future. Without approved layout, the government consider the estate as encroachment / unplanned development. Consequences are when you see someone lose his/her property with little or no compensation at all.

Do note that this is true for all estates but someone might get a building approval for same case if the place is just a community and not an Estate.

Be warned. 

13. You see it as unnecessary to trace the history and linkage between the seller and the previous seller. 



Sometimes, many people are buying a good land but from wrong owner.  

A known developer company once bought land from wrong owner and they’ve almost sold out before the real owner of the estate showed face.  

Do you know what happened?  

The recent popular case of Akinole-Oshiun Family who defeated the Lagos state government after 42-year old legal tussle for some parts of the popular Acme road and Lateef Jakande with over 2000 buildings comprising an Estate, Banks, Churches, Mosques, already erected. This is to tell you how delicate land matters is, even the government is not left out if the court believes it wrongfully acquires any land.

You don’t want to know the stories of individuals that have fallen victim of this…


14. Looking to buy 4 and get 1 free.

Partaking in different awoof land promo. It’s difficult not to fall into mess when you’re enjoying a lot of awoof 😋. So land is now guguru and epa that you can be playing price game with.  

I’m so sorry to burst your bubble but most of these land are “Excision in Progress” “Excision in View” or “registered survey” which averagely you don’t know the implications. Of course, these are no title or let’s just say it’s a gamble.  


Who will have a genuine land that appreciate very fast as compared to lands without good title that’s subject to government demolition and then sell it at 3 for 10 Kobo?  

If you’re buying from a distressed individual, that’s ok, but buying awoof berekete from a developer? He himself must have bought the cheap thing without good title.  

Don’t also forget that the developers will make profit, and pay for all other expenses on staff and liability.  

Buy affordable land, but don’t buy cheap land. 

 Shora e ​o, ko laju e.


15. You assume since there’s plenty houses already built, it shows it’s good to buy. 

This is the most misleading step any investor can take in real estate.  

So what happened to over 2000 building demolished in Lagos 2 years ago?  

What happened to over 400 luxury houses demolished in Ibeju-Lekki few months ago?  

What Happened to the mansions brought down at Ibile Holding Abijo few months ago?  


Why do you think you see “X” marks on various buildings all over that state/country? this is as a result of illegal or in-complete documentations.

All lands belong to the state government but with a complete and genuine document you will be properly compensated if at all that day comes.

These and more are pointers that you shouldn’t just do blanket research on your real estate investment.   

If this has benefited you in any way, first share with your friends and family. Let’s spread awareness.  

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