First time home buyers: 5 things you need to do before choosing a realtor

Over the years, real estate investors have identified the ‘quality of agent’ as one of the factors that contribute largely to a good buying decision. Big ticket investments generally are dependent on teamwork. Whether a stock market investment or real estate, the success or failure to a large extent depends on the people that you have on your team. Unlike the fragmented nature of the stock market which allows low capital entry, the real estate market, especially in Nigeria requires huge capital to enter the market. This places a higher risk for investors in the event of a transaction going south.

While analysts argue that risk is an important component of yield, losing an investment in its totality is not a welcome risk to investors hence the need to minimise and mitigate its possible eventuality. At BuyLetLive, one of our goals is to help you navigate the process of buying properties in Nigeria seamlessly. In this article, we have summarised tips to guide you in choosing your agents to ensure you have the best hands.

Check the track record of the agent before committing 

According to a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2018, wire fraud, specifically E-mail Account Compromise (EAC) had raked in over $12.5 billion between 2013 and early 2018. As at the end of 2019, the FBI recorded over 166,349 incidents globally, costing businesses and individuals over $26.2 billion in losses. Even though we cannot ascertain exactly how much have been lost in fraudulent real estate deals in the country, undocumented fraudulent disclosure has been rising especially in the past decade. We recommend that in doing your due diligence, you need to consider the following:

  • Check if the agent is licenced and belongs to the right local associations.
  • In addition, you need to ensure that they have a track record in closing similar deals and within the market that you are interested in.
  • You can also speak with some of their past clients to get useful feedback. A list of their past clients is usually on the agent’s website or as social media posts.

Avoid the temptation of saving cost at the detriment of your investment

One temptation that investors face is the urge to cut cost by working with the cheapest service providers. Considering the capital involved in real estate deals, first time home buyers need to ensure that they are working with the best service providers. Paying a higher fee for the services of experienced agents is better than risking losing your investment. As much as possible, ensure that you are working with qualified service providers and advisors with a track record, even though it will require paying a premium. In the long run, this will pay off.

Assess the agents understanding of the local market

From better negotiation, to presenting you with the best available options, it pays more to work with agents that understand the local market that you are looking to buy in. These are those agents that we at BuyLetLive refer to as “neighbourhood kings”. They understand their market, and can help you negotiate the best deals. These agents have the best network of developers who are active within their locality, and usually know almost every project that is being built around town. In addition, they help you process documentation faster because they also understand the requirements and processes at the local or state authority with good contacts. 

Track record for transparency and attention to details

Ensure that you are working with trusted agents. Only work with agent companies that have a track record for transparency and attention to details. The agent should be transparent with you and communicate without leaving grey areas around the transaction. It is very important to work with agents that are through with their work and communicate effectively.

Agents who have multiple inventory and options for selection

It is important to work with agents who know the market, and have quality inventory that speaks to your needs. The best agents are those who have as many quality property options as possible that you can choose from. 

Because there is no standardised platform for verifying agents in Nigeria, we at BuyLetLive, are working hard to ensure that all the agents you will find on our platform have been internally verified, so you can be sure that you are dealing with the right companies.

You can follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram to get more insights on how to navigate the Nigerian real estate market successfully. Send us your comments and feedback to research@buyletlive.com and we will like to keep in touch.

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