Buying a home is really exciting yet nerve wrecking just like a game of poker. The stakes are high, huge incentives to bluff and avoid inconvenient facts yet a win is always super rewarding. In a game of poker, no one is legally bound to tell you the truth yet in real estate, the broker is legally bound to tell you the truth that is if he/she deems it right to tell you.
Home buyers should never depend on the seller’s information, as any information the Seller may wish to give is fine to listen to but a Buyers simply should not take it as necessarily being true or valid.
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In Nigeria where real estate transactions occur at a very rapid pace, purchasing a house can leave every buyer feeling lost and impatient even when they have an experienced agent. The experience=ce can even be worse for a first-time buyer in Nigeria.
To help you lessen the stress and get your dream home, we’ve come up with 7 clever questions that can help save you from your worst real estate Nightmare in the Nigerian market. Ask these questions before making an offer on a house.
1. Why is the owner selling?
As a buyer, you might not be privileged to meet with the owner directly but you need to ask the agent why the owner is selling and also make your research as to why. This question is important so the buyer won’t be duped.
2. How long has the property been on the market?
If the house has been on the Nigerian market for a long time (more than 6 months), you need to ask why it isn’t selling. There might be some issues with the house other buyers have seen that you just don’t know yet.
3. What is the minimum price?
If you want to save money on a real estate deal in Nigeria, you need to ask for the minimum price the buyer is willing to sell if you plan on saving money. Estate agents will often give you an indication – it is in their interest to make a sale, even at a lower price, because if they don’t sell, they don’t get paid.
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4. Can I speak directly to the seller?
In Nigeria, the Agent will not want you to speak to the seller since it is their job to negotiate but note that they cannot stop you from talking to them. Most sellers are not industry professionals and this means they often will give you answers that the agents might find too honest for the deal.
5. What is this property worth in today’s market?
A professional real estate agent will not tell you how much to offer for the house, or how much it is worth. The agent should arm you with plenty of comparables — prices of similar, nearby homes that have been sold recently — along with high and low ranges for a particular property. This will also give you an idea if you are getting a fair bargain or not.
6. How old is the property?
It is really good to know this, as older homes might require more maintenance. In Nigeria, some older homes are more maintained than others and this will definitely affect the asking price of the property.
7. What is the neighbourhood like?
In Lagos Nigeria for example, there are so many neighbourhoods one can buy real estate, but some are safer than others, some might make your daily commute easier and the likes, So you need to ask what the neighbourhood is like, the neighbours, What is the crime rate like? Where is the nearest petrol station? While it is a good idea to see what the estate agent has to say, make sure you do some independent research as well.
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8. What is included in the sale?
This question is important especially for homes on the market that still have their own living there. This will help you know what fixtures and fittings you will get from the sale.