Safety tips for house searching. meQasa. © Copyright 2014 CorbisCorporation

Trying to find the perfect house is a process and can be a tiring one at that. From the day you decide you want to move, to the day you are finally called to sign your lease or deed, you would have spent some time on meQasa.com using our search portal to find options; you would have spoken to a number of agents and you would have made some property visits for viewings. The real moment of truth, however, is when you go to sign on the dotted line and are required to hand over a cheque to a landlord or homeowner. For rentals, this is most likely a large lump sum of at least a year of rent.

Many real estate agents are in love with their jobs and try to offer the best of service during the home search process so that when you find a house you are happy with, they feel resourceful and take pride in the reward of commission. meQasa aims to work with such industry professionals and strives to support their careers with additional training on how they can be more successful in their dealings. There, however, happen to be some real estate agents in Ghana who may not have the best intentions and so, from time to time, there are news headlines concerning real estate fraud where innocent home seekers lose money to these heartless criminals. meQasa is currently seeking a solution by exploring a verification process for agents who list to our site but also strongly encourages home seekers to be very cautious, especially, when it comes to exchange of money.

Here are some tips on how to be smart, safe and avoid real estate scams:

DO’s:

  • Go and visit the properties you like yourself if you are the one who will be moving in. If you do not live in Ghana yet, or cannot make the time to view the property yourself, have a trusted friend/family member go to the home showing.
  • Inquire about and insist on meeting the homeowner/landlord if the property is one you are interested in securing. Though you may have received answers from the real estate agent, feel free to ask the landlord again if you need further clarification about anything concerning the house.
  • On lease signing day, in addition to the lease, ask the real estate agency or realtor to provide a payment note/voucher which indicates that the lease payment has been made, indicating to who and by whom and in what exact amount. This can be created and printed by you or the agent. Both of you should sign and keep copies.
  • Have your lawyer go over all legal housing documents (lease or property ownership deed) and verify that all is valid and that the person selling or letting is the actual person who has the right to sell/rent it out.

 

DON’Ts:

  • Don’t allow any real estate agent to rush you to a point of discomfort. Some properties may have other offers on them but still be wary if there is unnecessary pressure to make immediate payment.
  • Don’t offer or answer to requests of personal information like specifics on where you currently live or bank account details.
  • Don’t make any payment towards rent until legal paperwork has been signed and documents such as a copy of the real estate agent’s ID card have been attained for security reasons.

 

Going about your home search online via meQasa.com is surely the easiest and most efficient way to find your dream home, and by employing these pointers, we hope you can move in, happy and without any hassles.