TAKE 5: WHAT TO NEGOTIATE WHEN BUYING A HOUSE

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

  • Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home.
  • Furnishings. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing.
  • Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. Just ensure you allow yourself ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections.
  • Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims.
  • Repairs. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.

How to Start a Career in Real Estate

How to Start a Career in Real Estate

1. Get licensed in your state. …
2. Choose a brokerage. …
3. Join the National Association of Realtors. …
4. Find a path to get training. …
5. Create a business plan. …
6. Build your business using your contacts. …
7. Develop your professional image. …
8. Be ready to meet your first client. …

In day-to-day practice, there are three functions that real estate agents perform: representing buyers, representing sellers, and building their business. And it’s easy to get started, no matter what you are doing now.
Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way.

1. Get licensed in your state
First, you’ll need to get a real estate license from your state which will require a certain amount of coursework. The courses are mostly related to ethics, discrimination and other consumer protections. Many online courses are available, but you can take live courses if you prefer. The longest course may stretch over eight weeks, but many courses can be completed in less than a week. The cost of your courses and the state license can vary.

2. Choose a brokerage
A real estate brokerage is a company that is set up to help facilitate the business brought in by their real estate agents. A brokerage will provide:
• A brand to be affiliated with
• A managing broker who can help guide your career
• Some tools and light training
• Business cards
• Website
• Signage
• A desk
• A contract to use

3. Join the National Association of Realtors
A state license gives you the legal right to sell real estate, but you cannot call yourself a Realtor until you have joined the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and agree to follow the rules they set forth. You do not have to join the association, but successful agents often find it beneficial. Most brokerages will require it and in most states this is how you gain access to your local Multiple Listing Services, the database where all the homes for sale is listed.

4. Find a path to get training
Many agents are surprised to learn that their real estate license does not prepare them to do the daily work of a real estate agent. In residential real estate there are many moving parts, from finding customers to closing deals. Real estate agents need to find a mentor, coach or some other form of training in order to be successful. Companies like Adeniji Adele & Associates offer agents the training they need through a series of engaging and informative Interactive Sessions “New agents have to learn a lot of information quickly. ” says Adeniji Adele, founder of Adeniji Adele & Associates.

5. Create a business plan
A real estate agent is essentially an entrepreneur. Although it’s tempting to skip business planning, or think about it without writing it down, most successful agents say that writing out a business plan helped them out tremendously. You can download a template to create your business plan from training companies like Adeniji Adele & Associates.

6. Build your business using your contacts
As a new agent, most of your initial contacts will be family or friends. For most agents, getting the word out is the best way to use your contacts to build your business. First you create a list of your all contacts and put them together in a database. Then, send out an announcement about your new career and ask your closest people to help share the news. Put out information through your social media, start networking and soon you’ll have people interested in talking to you about representing them!

7. Develop your professional image
Real estate is an image-based business, and clients make a quick judgment call on whether or not you’re in contention for hire. Your image, which can influence your career more than any other factor, is conveyed by the way that you dress, the way you speak, the way you respond to others, and the way that others speak about you. You should hire a professional photographer and a professional writer to take your headshot and write your bio, which will be shared on your website, through social media and in marketing materials. Don’t be afraid to put your creativity to work!

8. Be ready to meet your first client
Seventy percent of real estate customers only interview one agent to sell their home! Leads may come from many places — for example, an office call, a referral, or from someone you already know. Always be prepared to handle the first contact with any client.
The timing of your response and the professionalism of your note or phone call will set the tone for the future. Potential clients are deciding whether to hire you when they first reach out. Remember:
• Establish your credibility in every conversation.
• Give a prompt reply. Demonstrate your reliability by responding in a timely fashion — 5-to-10-minute response times are best.
• Avoid slang, jokes, emoticons or misspellings in emails, texts and any other written correspondence.
Once you get your first client, you are on your way to a career that can bring you joy and success for many years!

SOLUTIONS TO PROPERTY MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS

SOLUTIONS TO PROPERTY MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS

Property management can be a challenging business. Nevertheless, it is still a service-based industry and your property manager must always have your best interest in mind. Though you want maintenance that exceeds the industry standards but it is important to recognize when, what may or may not be outside of a property manager’s control. When things go wrong, you want a manager that is always on point to give solution to any problem that arises!

Below are some common property management problems and solution tips:

  1. Rents below Market RatesRents are the largest income stream for many real estate investors.  Your rents should be on par with current market rates in order to maximize your potential income.  You can also call other property managers in the area and ask them their opinion on the home.
  2. Unknown/Hidden Fees: Hidden fees are problems in many industries, when your investments are on the line, hidden fees are much harder to absorb. Therefore, note that before you sign a property management contract make sure you have read it, understand it and ask questions to clarify anything you do not understand.Your prospective manager should be up-front with their pricing and not hesitant to discuss it with you so as to avoid issues.
  3. Diverse Information from the Company: Do you talk to a different person every time you call the management office?  Are you getting different answers to the same question? Do you have more questions now than you did when you picked up the phone in the first place?  However, staff turnover and over-staffing is a common problem with property management companies.  Ask your management company about the staff you will be dealing with once you sign up and the stability of the staff because the business relationship might go a long way and it requires continuity with the same personality.
  4. Poor Reporting/Communication: Prompt and smart communication is ideal and non-communication is a deal-breaker.  Your manager should be communicating with you regularly. And they should be fully comfortable with all modes of communication available.  You don’t want them constantly hiding behind an auto-attendant or administrative assistant.  Their reports should be steadily delivered monthly and your questions answered clearly and quickly.
  5. Expensive Environ: We have many elements that drives the cost of property management in a given region.  Among these are:
  • The quality of the housing
  • The location of the home
  • The current rental and housing market
  • Local manager competition
  • The anticipated monthly rent of your home.

Understanding all of the above will help you negotiate properly with a property manager. Note: A “needy” home is more expensive to manage.

  1. High Maintenance Costs: Maintenance can be handled in two primary ways, (i) –In-house staff or (ii) trusted vendors. Each style has its experts and convicts. Ask your property manager to describe their maintenance system. Ask what their typical costs are to provide solution the most common problems in maintaining your property.
  1. Routine Inspections: Inspections are core task of owning rental properties and should be done regularly.  If a manager does not provide routine inspections they may be understaffed and incapable of servicing their clients properly.  The best way to find out how inspections are handled is to find someone who is currently in charge of your property and ask them.
  2. Accepting Bad Tenant: Accepting a bad tenant is one of the most expensive mistakes a person can make in real estate.Due diligence and upfront work of an intense background check is paramount.   Despite strict screening criteria, some tenants just fall on hard times. This state is not something that can be screened upfront.  If you are experiencing a bad tenant find out what went wrong. Is the manager negligent or is something else going on outside of their control?

Conclusion

If you have never hired a property manager for fear of having one or more of these problems, use this list as a guide when you interview potential managers. It will give you a strong start in the process. The managers you interview will know you are serious about property management!

We have criteria and the ability to manage your property with prompt and proper communication, routine inspections, tenant’s due diligence/investigation, steady staffing and so on, ability to deliver promptly is part of our aim and objective; we can help you come off having nightmares over your properties even when you trust us with one.

Adeniji Adele and Associates, Estate Surveyors, Valuers and Consultant, located at 19, Campbell Street, Lagos Island. We have been in business for over 20 years with vibrant team of extensive experience. You can reach us on the following contacts: 08091290611, 08066295770, 08051709024, 08033238404

Trust us with a property today! And you will trust us with more tomorrow.

Why a Real Estate Surveyor/Valuer is Vital in Nigeria

In the Nigerian scene, Estate Agents and Estate Surveyors/Valuers are often both erronoeously referred to as Estate Agents. They however differ in terms of job description and both offer distinct services. According to Mr Sam Eboigbe of Sam Eboigbe & Co. Properties, an Estate Surveyor/Valuer is a professional who has been trained to advise clients on investments with a view to making positive returns. In addition to provision of advise on land use and site selection, the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV); the governing body of Estate Surveyors/Valuers in Nigeria, outlines the role of Estate Surveyors/Valuers as the following:

  1.  Determining the value of all descriptions of landed property and of the various interests therein;
  2. Managing and developing real estates and businesses concerned with the management of landed property
  3. Securing the optimal use of land and its associated resources to meet social and economic needs;
  4. Surveying the structure and conditions of buildings and their services and advising on their maintenance alteration and improvement;
  5. Measuring and delineating the physical features of the earth;
  6. Managing, developing and surveying mineral property;
  7. Determining the economic use of resources in the construction industry and the financial appraisal and measurement of construction work;
  8. Selling (whether by public auction or otherwise), buying or letting, as an agent, real or personal property or any interests therein, and to maintain and promote the usefulness of the profession for the public ad vantage.

In addition, Estate Surveyors/Valuers in Nigeria are also relevant in cases of compulsory acquisition, that is, a situation in which land is forcefully acquired by either the government, public utility companies like PHCN, oil companies and so on. In such a situation, an Estate Surveyor/Valuer could be retained by either or both the claimant ( land owner) and the acquiring party (government or other such bodies). His/her responsibility would include procuring briefs from the claimant, survey claims, issue professional fees, assess compensation, prepare valuation report and pay compensation.

An Estate Surveyor/Valuer is also equipped to carry out feasibility studies for building projects like housing schemes and factories in addition to handling project management, in which case the supervision of on-site engineers and architects is done. Also, they could source for funds for housing scheme projects on behalf of their clients.

How to Make a Smart Real Estate Purchase

We’ve all heard the horror stories – people paying way too much for a house, not getting an inspection and then finding a million (expensive) problems with the place. I’ve seen it countless time with homeowners on Income Property and from talking to eager real estate investors.

Here are my top five tips for making a smart real estate purchase so you don’t get burned!

  1. Stick to Your Budget
    It’s easy to get carried away here, especially if you make the mistake of looking at houses outside your price range. The important part is to have a plan. Don’t just think about your mortgage payments every month; also think about your monthly carrying cost and be honest about your lifestyle. Consider how much you spend every month on eating out, clothing, etc. There’s nothing worse than being house poor because you weren’t honest about your spending habits.
  2. Don’t be Afraid to Walk Away
    A house is an emotional purchase, since it’s where you’ll be living, raising your children and making a home for yourself. But it’s crucial to keep emotions out of the equation as much as possible. You should love your house, but you should love it because it’s in good condition and because the numbers work. Always get a home inspection and if you can’t afford it (or the work it requires), walk away!
  3. Give Every House a Chance
    I do most of my real estate browsing online, as do most people now, but you can’t always judge a house by the virtual tour – good or bad. If you see something online and it has bad pictures (or no pictures) but it’s in the right neighbourhood or in your price range, go look at it! Chances are you can get a good deal because so many people will skip it without photos online.
  4. Think Long-Term
    Before you jump into a real estate purchase, ask yourself: “What is the purpose of this property for the next 5-10 years?” Depending on your mortgage, you may have to lock in for a certain number of years, and if you think you’ll be moving in less than 5 years, I’d suggest looking at alternatives. You never want to be forced into selling your house.
  5. Have a Support System
    Having a real estate agent who understands your financial and personal situation is key, and great advice from a mortgage specialist and lawyer can be invaluable to the home-buying process. But what many people forget is to have a personal support system in place when they go house hunting. Advice from those close to you – family members, a partner, friends – is just as important to help keep you on track and avoid getting carried away. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a house, so having the personal support will keep you grounded.

Role of Land Surveyors in Nigerian Real Estate

Practically, more than ninety percent of land and property owners are unaware of certain details concerning their lands. These details include the class of land, the slope and other little details that largely determine the potentials of the land in question. An understanding of these details is what helps the owner determine the best use to put the land.
Before purchasing a landed property, it is important to know that the services of a surveyor is important. The surveyor’s job is to help you understand the exact measurement of the land and locate the places where the boundaries actually lie.

The role of land surveyors in Nigerian Real Estate

The surveyors also help with advice on the best parts of the land to build to reduce the possibility of breaking building regulations as well as make projections on certain problems that might be encountered in the future while using the land.

Furthermore, surveying before purchase of land would help one understand the physical changes that have been going on in the land and the best possible way to adapt it to ones purpose.

The use of land survey is still very much relevant in the business of properties and real estate because, to a large extent, they determine the utility we derive from land resources as well as help us maximize their various potentials.

How to get the Best out of Nigerian Properties and Real Estate as an Investor

A couple of tips have helped the most successful Real Estate investors so far. It is not those who have charged the most, or those with properties in high profile areas of a city, but those who have been able to study the market and apply certain principles to get the most out of the property market. Outlined below are a couple of ways to get the most out of the properties and Real Estate in Nigeria, as an investor.
1. Know what you are getting into: The sale of properties in Nigeria could be very dicey when it comes to getting the best deal. In as much as it is capital intensive and it’s also a very slow market, even in popular areas, a proper look should be given to the demand for the various properties there so as to reduce the time it will spend in the market. Also, a closer look should be given to the general price of properties in the area to avoid tagging ridiculously low or high price tags to one’s building and to see if any advantage could be had over other property owners in the area.
2. Consider whether you want to hire an agent or be the agent: While marketing your property could save money and insure the chances of a better deal for yourself, the stress and time involved could really take a lot from you. Hiring an agent could reduce this but a fee has to be paid to them. A good agent would handle your properties as well as deal with any problems that might arise. A proper consideration of this factor should be made.
3. Explore less obvious options or uncompleted buildings: Properties and lands are usually very expensive in big cities; so much that before the profits would start coming, a life time is almost over. Same goes for new buildings. A thorough look at the property market for distressed sales and upcoming areas would make for better deals. Uncompleted buildings and properties that need renovation could also make for good deals if one knows how to bargain.
4. Avoid being over ambitious if renting out: A lot of houses and properties are bereft of occupants because the owner believes people should pay the high price he has demanded or forget it. Make no mistake about this; only a few uninformed people would rent a property at an exorbitant price without considering other options first. Just because a property is in a high profile area should not make the owner charge too high for it. (People do not pluck money from trees)
5. Work on your bargaining ability: The ability to make a seller see why he should sell his or her property at a particularly price would always come in handy especially in a capital-intensive business like Real Estate.
Just like every other business, it is of high importance that proper research and an understanding of the existing Real Estate potentials of any location be made before venturing full time into the business.