You’re looking for a place to call home but don’t have the time to go around town inquiring about available property. Worse still, you’re new in town and don’t know where to even go in the first place; zero ideas on the best locations or what’s fair pricing for properties either for rent or for sale. Your best bets, in this case, are to: a. rely on a real estate portals like meqasa.com and/or b. consult professionals (real estate agents or realtors), the bulk of whom are already on Ghana’s number one property website.
Then comes the matter of trust. One professional claims to be a real estate agent, another a realtor, another still, a broker. Don’t be alarmed. In Ghana, these terms are often used interchangeably and don’t wear such distinct sleeves as they would in other parts of the world. Let’s break it down for you.
The information below is rephrased from a section on Real Estate Careers in Ghana in an upcoming Real Estate report by meqasa.com.
Being an agent is perhaps the easiest way to start a real estate career in Ghana. On property portals such as meqasa.com, a good majority of agents are not formally trained in real estate. In most cases, they picked up the trade after recognising their knack for matching property seekers with unoccupied real estate.
In Ghana, the terms “broker” and “real estate agent” are often interchanged. In some cases, the term “Realtor” is also wrongly used. The differences, however, are quite straightforward.
Real Estate Agent
According to Investopedia, a real estate agent is a professional who has passed the required real estate classes and licensing exams in the state where he/she intends to work.
A broker only differs from the agent based on his/her continued education and ability to employ other agents.
A Realtor®, on the other hand, is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the American trade association.
Are There Realtors in Ghana?
Presently, there’s no law requiring a license to begin a real estate career in Ghana. That notwithstanding, a number of agents in Ghana are actually Realtors® and operate as such. People interested in a license often get it from other countries, the National Association of Realtors being the main licensing body.
The Way Forward for Real Estate Agents in Ghana
These definitions do not, necessarily, apply to Ghana however, considering the lack of regulation and professional body(- ies) to offer these licenses. This is a problem the Ghana Association of Real Estate Agents (officially launched in 2018) in partnership with Ghana’s number one real estate portal, meqasa.com hopes to solve.
Together with the Ministry of Housing and other partner institutions, the GAR will start offering certificates this year to, amongst other things, regulate licenses, sanitise the industry and enforce standards and collaboration and in our case, clearly define who a realtor, real estate agent and broker are.
Ready for a career in real estate? Check out Real Estate 101.