Buying and owning real estate is an investment strategy that can be both satisfying and lucrative and with recent health crisis, it has become even more apparent that real estate is an asset that gives and keeps on giving.
In part 1 of these series, we were exposed to the ABC’S of real estate courtesy of Dr. Ibiene Ogolo and in this episode, we will be diving deep into how to invest in real estate.
This time around, Niclette Mundabi will be our pilot.
Niclette is an accomplished and multi-passionate international businesswoman and social impact advocate who hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo (The big Congo). She is an investment facilitator and an expert problem solver; her talent in sales and negotiation has taken her around the globe and to Atlanta, GA, USA where she currently resides. Previously, she has worked in property sales, management and development in West Africa, Europe and USA. In addition to running the company she created The Luxe Africa, Ms. Mundabi is the current Africa Portfolio Manager at MoneyGram International.
So, when she tells you what to do when it comes to real estate, she is speaking from years of experience.
Here’s how the conversation went;
Ibiene: How much did the covid-19 pandemic affect the real estate sector?
Niclette: We don’t have the all statistics yet; however, the primary impact has been negative. Construction, purchase and sales have all been affected especially in the mid-range and luxury residential property markets. Commercial properties have also taken a hit, however residential rentals have remained relatively stable.
In the US, we have also seen a negative impact however the market is slated for a quick recovery. In growing cities like Atlanta, there isn’t enough homes on the market for the high demand of homebuyers looking to make the most of their low interest mortgage loans. For this reason, prices have remained high and will likely continue to rise for the foreseeable future.
Ibiene: When is the best time to invest in real estate?
Niclette: Anytime can be the best time depending on what the investor is seeking to achieve, for long term investors there are certain factors that need to be considered. A good tip is to always stay informed on city development plans because that is a good indication of where you can make valuable long-term investments.
For short term investors who are keen to create immediate Return On Investment (ROI), there are also several factors to consider. In light of the pandemic and the uncertainty it has created in the job market, this may not be the best time to invest. I imagine a lot of people will prefer to play it safe and make fiscally conservative choices.
Ibiene: What should an investor consider before making a property choice?
Niclette: I believe that every investor should conduct independent research. However, we all know that the golden rule of real estate is location, location, location!
After finding an ideal property the next step is to do a comparative price/market analysis to ensure that the potential investment is a sound business decision. I would also advise that you hire the right people, so they can do the essential work of confirming the structural integrity of the property before a purchase is made.
It is critical to also have the right legal representation to ensure that the buying process satisfies all the legal frameworks. You want to personally ensure that the legal paperwork in reference the property is intact (Title, Governor Consent or CofO, land survey etc.).
Ibiene: How can one determine how much one’s property is worth?
Niclette: The safe bet is to use valuators to get a fair estimate or appraisal on the property value.
Ibiene: What are the steps involved in selling one’s property?
- Set the right asking price based on a fair property value estimate.
- List your property with a reputable agent (You can also use social media for additional marketing).
- Host viewings in a way that highlights the property’s unique features.
- After receiving and before accepting offers, make sure that the buyer is properly vetted, and a proper KYC has been conducted.
- Be prepared and open to negotiate on everything including price, requests for repairs etc.
- Conclude by signing all the relevant contracts and documents with the buyer.
Note* Sellers should always disclose any important information on the property to the buyer prior to signing contracts.
Ibiene: Let’s talk about property ownership tussle; what causes such and how it can be resolved?
Niclette: Some of the pervasive issues we encounter in property tussles are due to lack of proper documentation, family disputes and historical land rights. There can be several claims on a single property by multiple parties at a given time.
When this happens, the parties can attempt to resolve the matter through legal and judicial means; that can get very expensive. So, as an alternative there are also customary channels and amicable private settlements that can be used as methods to appease all involved.
Ibiene: What should an investor consider when choosing an agent?
Niclette: I encourage everyone to work with agents that are trustworthy and with whom it is easy to communicate (A good listener), is well aware of the location where the property is being sort. One who has a proven track record to represent your interest, and equally values transparency.
Ibiene: What is your agent’s guide to clinching deal?
Niclette: I suggest agents always take the time to properly understand the client’s goals and objectives. Once you have a good grasp of the client’s needs, use your expertise and resources to negotiate on behalf of their interest as if your life depended on it.
Thanks to Niclette for throwing more light on this subject matter.
Do you have any further question, please drop in the comment section.