Have you ever wondered why it is called real estate? Real estate derives from Latin and French origins. Real is derived from the Latin word realis which means existing and True. It was adopted legally in English to describe the immovable property. Estate derives from the Latin word status, which means condition or state, and in combination with the word stare, which means to stand, and also the French derivative word estat. The combination of words to make the term ‘Real Estate’ was first used in 1666 in London, and Realty in the 1670 London era.


Real estate defines as land (immovable natural resource) with natural or Man-made attachments above and below it that include trees, buildings, water, etc. Real estate is a generational heritage that is much desired by all and sundry.


There are different types of real estate classified by their uses.

  1. Residential real estate – Any property used for residential purposes like private residences
  2. Commercial real estate – Property used exclusively for business purposes like supermarkets, office spaces, hospitals
  3. Industrial real estate – Property used for manufacturing, storage, development, and production
  4. Land – This is underdeveloped or vacant land and farmlands
  5. Special-purpose real estate –These are public properties like places of worship, government buildings, schools, and cemeteries.


When purchasing any real estate, it is expedient to know the type of document the land or property has and what documents you will receive as the new owner. There are different title documents issued to show rightful ownership of the real estate, and buyers are not entitled to have them all. It is imperative to educate yourself on land documents so that you may know the kind of title document that will be issued to you based on the history of purchase or ownership of a property.




  1. CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (C of O) – The C of O given by the state government is valid for 99 years. When an individual purchases a property that already has this title document, they will not be given a new C of O but issued a “Deed of Assignment” along with the “Governor’s Consent” as proof of transfer of ownership.


  1. SURVEY PLAN – An approved survey plan shows details of the location, description, coordinates, and actual size of land. If you would like to confirm if a landed property is under government acquisition, you can search through the office of the Surveyor-General.


  1. PURCHASE RECEIPT – This document reflects the payment for the land or property.


  1. DEED OF ASSIGNMENT – It is equally known as the Deed of Conveyance, which is issued to indicate the permanent transfer of ownership of the landed property from an ‘Assignor’ or seller to an ‘Assignee’ or buyer.


  1. GOVERNOR’S CONSENT – A governor’s consent means that the governor has consented to and approved the transfer of ownership of landed property with a C of O from one person to another.


  1. SALES CONTRACT – This is an agreement between parties involved in the transaction to indicate terms and conditions before finalizing the sale of the property. This document is not registerable and accompanies another document noting the transfer of ownership.


  1. DEED OF MORTGAGE – This indicates the mortgage transaction between a mortgagor (the borrower) and the mortgagee (the lender).


  1. DEED OF GIFT – This indicates the permanent transfer of the landed property gifted by one individual to another


  1. GRANT OF PROBATE – When a probate registry validates a will. By inheritance, the administrators of the said estate will be appointed, as the legal owners of the assets.


  1. LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION – When a deceased person fails to leave a will, or the will is invalidated. The ‘letter of administration’ is issued to the family and establishes them as the administrators of the said estate.


  1. ASSENT – The document accompanies a grant of probate or a letter of administration and bestows the interest of an estate into the beneficiaries of the said estate or a third-party buyer by the administrators of the estate


  1. COURT JUDGEMENT – The judgment delivers the transfer of a property or land from one individual or group of persons to another. If a property is obtained through or involved in litigation, it is necessary to retrieve a copy of the judgment.


  1. EXCISION AND GAZETTE – The government can release a parcel of land back to its indigenous owners for residential and commercial developments. The process is called excision, and when this excised land gets published in the government official gazette, the land is now said to have Gazette as its title. Land with a gazette title is safe to buy, and a proper land title document can be issued