Buying a home is never an easy task.
First, your dream home must have the basic requirements you want: do you want it new, never-lived-in or historic/classic, 2 bedroom or 5, spacious compound or an underground garage, a duplex or a bungalow.
Then it must be located in a great neighbourhood, no doubt. Before you then consider the cost. Any house that combines the right features at the best possible price is 'dream home' enough!
While some people still prefer to build their own houses according to their tastes and desires and preferences, many will continue to take up the option of buying their homes. As tasking as that option may seem, a real estate agent's skill-set are trained to take the stress off you.
If you have a great area in mind and you've just gotten a new pair of tough shoes and you seriously think walking around almost-aimlessly and chatting up complete strangers is no big deal, then maybe carrying out a house search yourself isn't such a bad idea.
But just in case your attempts have not been successful after a hundred tries, don't sit and sulk.
Call a competent agent in your most charming voice and tell her your needs. With her assistance, your search for a great home to buy may be over in a few days!
Once the search is over and a beautiful piece of property is located in a luxury neighbourhood, it's time to present a purchase offer to the seller for consideration.
But wait a sec!
A great house it is but should you offer N500,000 or 500million naira? A ridiculously low offer is bad. An unreasonably high one is not smart.
Have you ever bought a N5,000 shirt only to find out it was a repackaged N500 bend-down-select? Multiply by a thousand that disappointment you felt, that's what you endure after over paying for a house.
But an agent is there to help you avoid that error by using comparative analysis to determine the right price for the property.
Never pay for a property you or anyone appointed by you have not inspected. You don't want to end up with a property with many leaks, dangerous cracks and costly repairs.
One wealthy chief I know who bought a house after only seeing the great pictures of the property, ended up purchasing the federal capital territory of the rat-nation!
Advisably, go with your agent. She has made such visits a billion times before and knows what and where to look. Her experience will help you avoid several sleepless nights after the deal is done.
Once the payment is made and the home is finally yours, oftentimes, there are a few repairs, renovations and/or reconstruction to take care of. Again, having your agent nearby is a blessing.
A good agent has developed a trusted network of attorneys and contractors over time.
If you don't have anyone who can tie up the loose ends of any legal 'necessary nonsense' about the transaction, ask the agent for a referral.
Are there maintenance and repair works to be done inside the property as agreed with the seller, look not beyond your agent. She has in her little phone book the contact of a dozen contractors, repairers and fixers. Why should you go about picking workmen by the road side when they can come highly recommended from the agent?
Once you're in the good hands of a competent real estate agent/broker, your chances of finding and buying your home- a great home- just quadrupled.