Last year, Ezekiel was looking to purchase a small house he could stay in whenever he came to Lagos. He decided to make inquiries from a real estate company whose signpost he’d always seen. He was ushered in with so much excitement, as though they had been waiting for him, and he thought it was great customer service
He described the kind of property he wanted, but they didn’t have it and convinced him to purchase a piece of land instead. Weeks after payment, Ezekiel realised he had been scammed by the company. The piece of land he had made payments for belonged to a cattle rearer and the real estate company was fake. Ezekiel was not allocated the land; he had simply been taken to a random piece of land to make make the transaction appear legitimate. By the time he realised this, the company had moved from their previous location.
There are thousands of real estate companies like the one described above. Many of them take money from clients without allocating any piece of land. Forget signposts, here are things to watch out for when getting a real estate company:
Check their profiles
No matter the make-believe, fake real estate companies’ profiles are always vague. Yes, they talk about what they do but at the same time say nothing. Ensure you pay attention to everything they say about their company, and if you notice any disparity, don’t ignore it.
Check their social media pages
You can spot a fake real estate company by checking its social media record. All you need to do is type the name on Google. You will get some information that would inform your decision on whether you should go ahead with them or look for another real estate company.
Watch out for address disparities
Check for disparities between the official address on their page/website and where you’re asked to meet them. Any serious real estate company will change its office location on social media platforms if there’s a change of location. When you notice that their office address is completely different from where you are asked to come over, it’s a red flag.
How known is this company?
If you can’t find anything about them online and offline, then there’s a problem. If they are relatively unknown by people in your circle and have no tangible social media presence, then that’s a red flag.
Are they registered?
To run a successful real estate company, you have to go through proper and lawful registration. If the real estate company isn’t registered, you may want to take a step back.
Investigate their claims
I agree that we cannot know everywhere, even if we live in the same location for years. Still, when they tell you about the location of their properties, make enquiries and do your own investigation as well. A fake real estate company is dubious of location, they take advantage of this.
Are they in a hurry to sell to you? Pause!
If you notice any form of desperation, quit!
The most important point is that if you are not convinced enough or if your mind isn’t at peace. do not go ahead with them. Trust your guts!
Feature Image from Dreamstime