Owning a land or a house, whether as a piece of investment or as a dwelling place, remains an outstanding life accomplishment. To achieve this, real estate developers are often there to assist in making this dream a reality. However, before you engage that real estate developer, it is important and in your best interest to read these short notes drawn from industry practice. 

1. Estate Developers often move the goal post

Be careful with Estate Developers especially when you’re paying in installments. They’re specialists in moving the goal post and changing the rules in the middle of the game. Let your lawyer be by your side every step of the way!

2. The Danger in Installmental Payments

The longer the period of your installmental payment, the higher your risks. If you can, do your best to pay up quickly.

3. Estate Developers have Already-made Stories

Estate Developers have already-made stories well-prepared to deal with your troubles when you begin to react to their breaches. These stories hover around a) cost of building materials, b) shortfalls in projections, c) unfavorable economic conditions, d) need for more capital.

4. Don’t be Desperate

Avoid putting yourself in a position of desperation. Estate Developers are mean and can hardly be moved. You need to be calculative and ensure that all pockets of agreements are understood and duly executed.

5. Secret Pricing

Estate Developers will offer you a property at a given price. But later, they will come up with what they call “pre-construction price” and “offered price”. The latter is often higher. Initially, this distinction might not feature anywhere until it is time to deliver the property.

6. Close the Gaps for Price Increase

It is in your best interest to involve your solicitor to close all gaps and windows that will allow for unnecessary price increase by the Estate Developer.

7. Avoid Hidden Charges

Enquire at the initial stage about what Estate Developers often call “associated fees”, legal costs, and other costs. Determine the applicable costs, fees and charges in good time to avoid problems. They’re experts in using hidden charges to nail you! Look beyond their adverts because oftentimes, they will make bold advert statements stating: “NO HIDDEN CHARGES”. 

8. Estate Developers Fear No One

Be warned that Estate Developers are skilled in frustrating subscribers. They are brutal in negotiations during conflict. They fear no one including law enforcement agencies. Be careful. Tighten all loose ends in the relationship and make proving your case easier.

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has advised a number of both established and startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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