Getting a new apartment, or finding the perfect customer for your property can be one of the most difficult things to do in Lagos, especially if you don’t know your way around town. Fortunately and sometimes unfortunately, we have estate agents who ought to make the task easier. For most people, the said agent is the author and finisher of all things regarding the landlord-tenant relationship.
While these agents a not all the same, the following are a few things they will never tell you:
They overprice your property
The average price the ends up being paid for most properties in Lagos are at least 10% more than the original market value. There are many potential reasons for this, but it mostly boils down to the fact that an increase in prices translates to an increase in agent fees. So the next time you get prices from an agent, make sure you get valuations from at least three agents and check out similar property prices.
They don’t always put you first
From a distance, the agent might look like an angel to both the tenant and the landlord, the truth also might be that he could be using ‘dual agency’ to double their commission. This means that the agent is representing both the buyer and seller and essentially playing both sides.
Their contracts can have hidden fees
Once you choose an agent, be sure to read the contract thoroughly before signing it as there may be hidden administrative fees in addition to the chunk they take for commission. Like the rate of commission, any fees are also up for negotiation to a more reasonable amount.
They are careful with the truth
Estate agents won’t usually give you an honest answer even if they want to. If you’d like to know the truth, the internet or chatting with neighbours is your best bet.
They won’t tell you about disputes with neighbours either
Who your new neighbours are can have a huge impact on your quality of life. Estate agents will often know about issues but not mention them to customers. Make sure you go and research this element yourself in case you find you have just moved in next door to the neighbours from hell.
They don’t have hoards of ‘ready-made’ houses waiting
Those ‘ready-made’ properties that your agent talks about don’t actually exist most of the time. The reality is that once they also scout for properties on the same popular websites you go to look for properties.
They underestimate how much things will cost to fix
If you are a buyer interested in a property which needs work they will often suggest it will cost a lot less than it will really set you back to replace a kitchen or bathroom or repair a roof. Always get a professional survey done and quotes from several sources before you commit.
A bargain price may not always be good
While getting a great deal on the house you’re buying/renting may seem great and will leave your agent with something to boast about to their future clients, it could come back to haunt you. If the time comes for you to sell, potential buyers need only conduct a quick search online to see past selling prices.
If you paid a surprisingly low amount for the house, don’t expect new buyers to be willing to pay too much more unless you’ve done some serious remodelling.
You can sell it yourself – online
For property owners, you actually don’t need an estate agent. More and more people are going the “for sale by owner” route to avoid any selling agents dipping into their earnings. If you use all of the available tools to adequately educate yourself, selling on your own could be your best option as you’ll avoid paying an agent’s fees.