The housing deficit in Ghana and most African countries such as Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation makes it seemingly difficult to get a good real estate deal. There housing deficit in Ghana is estimated at 1.7million units and 17million in Nigeria. By the economic rule of demand and supply, the real estate market is expected to be a seller’s market, leading to an upward direction of real estate prices and rents. Activities of stakeholders on the ground show growing investment in the sector but not too convincing to see the deficit bridged within the next 5 to 10 years.
If you are paying for accommodation in Accra or most sub-Saharan African cities, it is likely your rent would shoot up after each period. Here are some suggestions on how to get good deals in the real estate industry
There are very good real estate deals in town, if only you search diligently. Often after seeing just three buildings, we want to make a choice quickly among the three so we can make payment before someone else snatches the property. I say don’t rush to make a choice. If you’re interested in a property you have seen, do express your interest but tell the owner or agent to give you another 5 days to make up your mind and come back. This should be acceptable to many property owners. What you do within the period is to look everywhere for more properties. Don’t make a decision until you have seen at least 10 properties of the type and location you want. To make your search easier, you can use online real estate marketplaces such as meqasa, and others like Tonaton and Olx.
Don’t Always Believe Sellers and Agents
Property owners and real estate agents often hype their properties; their features, location, price and facilities. You may be disappointed if you believe everything they say without checking for yourself. They tell you there are other buyers (or prospective tenants) ready to pay even if you’re the first. They tell you it’s the best deal you can get but it’s not. Your job is to find out for yourself, and not believe them wholly; else you would end up paying so high for the hype -only to regret after few months.
Always Push sellers for a Bargain
Due to the fact that the region has a large housing deficit, there is a growing perception that if you see a property and do not hurriedly show commitment to buy or rent, somebody else would snatch it. Many people do not push property owners to reduce the rent or the property price because they’re told another buyer is ready to pay the quoted price. That’s mostly false. If it were true, the property would be off the market. It is still available because no one has been interested in it over the period. Find out how long the building has been available on the market, and then you would know the level interest in it and how much bargain you can push for. Usually, aggressively advertised properties are easier to get the prices down. Push and push until seller is not ready to sell or rent the house at your price.
Don’t Make full Payment, yet
Many property buyers are in a hurry to make full payment for their new found home. Relax. Work through the figures and make a counter offer that favours your finances. Why make full payment now if you could spread the payments over a period of say three months or six or even twelve. For instance, when buying a property in Ghana, often you can suggest a payment option that suits your pocket and leaves you in a better financial position than the one offered by the seller. Try to explore such opportunities. Keeping your money can earn you some interest over the stretched payment period.
Show no Eagerness
Real estate owners and seller are just like sellers of any other product. They observe your eagerness and willingness to own or live in the property, and take a position in the negotiation accordingly. If you show them that you’re dying to live in their property, you only empower them to take a firm stand in the negotiation, which often costs you a few more dollars. A few more dollars you could easily wipe off the building price or rent if you show a certain level indifference towards the property. Sometimes, you can bluff and make it look like you’ve seen nicer properties at lower prices. With this, you take a firmer stand in negotiation and you’re able to push the price down – if only they want to sell and sell fast.
These recommendations are not only for houses for sale or rent in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Takoradi alone, but can be applied in lands for sale as well, everywhere in Ghana and most African countries. Real estate in Ghana is still at an infant stage if you compare it to developed countries. The mortgage market remains largely accessible by only formal sector workers with income above certain levels.