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How to Find a Great Real Estate Agent in 2023

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Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions you’ll ever make, so it’s important to find a real estate agent you can trust. A good agent can help you find the right home for your needs and budget, or sell your home for the highest possible price.

But with so many agents out there, how do you find the right one for you? Here are a few tips:

1. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues.

Word-of-mouth is often the best way to find a good agent. Ask people you trust who they’ve worked with in the past and had a positive experience.

2. Look for agents who are experienced in your area and with your type of transaction. For example, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, you’ll want to find an agent who specializes in working with first-time buyers. If you’re selling a luxury home, you’ll want to find an agent who has experience selling high-end properties.

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3. Interview multiple agents before making a decision. This will give you a chance to get to know them and see if you’re a good fit. Be sure to ask about their experience, their commission structure, and how they typically work with clients.

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4. Check the agent’s online reviews. This can be a great way to learn about other people’s experiences with the agent. Be sure to read both positive and negative reviews to get a balanced view.

5. Look for agents who are active in the community. This shows that they’re knowledgeable about the market and that they’re invested in their community.

6. Make sure the agent is a good communicator. You’ll be working with them closely throughout the buying or selling process, so it’s important to find someone you can communicate well with.

7. Ask about the agent’s marketing plan. If you’re selling your home, you’ll want to make sure the agent has a solid plan for marketing your property.

8. Trust your gut. Ultimately, the decision of which real estate agent to work with is a personal one. Go with the agent who you feel most comfortable with and who you believe will best represent your interests.

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Here are some additional questions you may want to ask potential real estate agents:

  • What are your thoughts on the current market conditions?
  • What is your approach to pricing a home?
  • How do you handle negotiations?
  • What are your communication preferences?
  • What are your contingency plans in case of unexpected challenges?
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It’s also important to feel comfortable with the real estate agent you choose. You’ll be working with them closely throughout the buying or selling process, so it’s important to find someone you trust and can communicate well with.

Once you’ve found a real estate agent that you’re happy with, be sure to sign a buyer’s or seller’s agency agreement. This agreement will outline the agent’s duties and responsibilities, as well as your compensation.

Here are some additional tips for finding a great real estate agent in 2023:

  • Look for agents who are using technology to their advantage. In today’s digital world, the best real estate agents are using technology to market homes, connect with buyers and sellers, and manage the buying and selling process.
  • Consider hiring a team instead of an individual agent. Some real estate agents work with a team of other professionals, such as marketing experts, buyer’s agents, and seller’s agents. This can be a good option if you’re looking for a more comprehensive approach to the buying or selling process.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate with agents on their commission. Real estate agent commissions are typically negotiable, so don’t be afraid to ask for a lower rate.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding a great real estate agent who can help you buy or sell your home for the best possible price.

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Inflation bites harder, renders N20, N10, N5 ‘irrelevant’

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In major markets, prices of goods are shifting away from the lower denominations of the Naira currency due to worsening inflation.

Not too long ago, items like a sachet of pure water were priced at N5, while N20 was commonly used to “settle” police officers at checkpoints. However, in recent years, these smaller denominations have struggled to purchase much.

A recent market survey by DAILY POST revealed that more than half of Nigeria’s legal tender is insufficient for making purchases.

Despite this, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recognizes denominations such as 50 kobo, N1, and N2 in coin form, as well as N5, N10, N20, and N50 printed on polymer materials.

Currently, a sachet of pure water is priced at N30, and retail prices for items like sugar and candies have increased, with goods often being priced in multiples of 50 or 100, rendering smaller denominations irrelevant.

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Over the past six months, the Naira has significantly depreciated against the dollar, with the intervention by the CBN bringing it to around N1050 to a dollar from a previous high of about N1,900.

This means that Nigeria’s highest denomination of N1000 is now worth less than a single dollar. Holding $1000 makes one a millionaire in Naira based on the current exchange rate, while even $1 exceeds N1,000.

Despite the recent appreciation of the Naira, commodity prices remain high, attributed to various factors including foreign exchange (FX) issues.

However, the Nigerian government continues to print lower denomination currencies at a substantial cost. It reportedly costs N1000 to print each lower denomination due to limitations in printing on polymer.

Experts are urging the CBN to cease printing lower denominations and reconsider the currency structure in line with present circumstances. Some suggest adopting a re-denomination policy similar to Ghana’s, which removed zeros from their currency in 2007.

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Former plans by the CBN to introduce N5000 notes and coin lower denominations like N5, N10, and N20 were met with public backlash in 2012, leading to the abandonment of the proposals. However, prices of goods and services have since risen beyond 2012 levels.

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Interest Rate, High Energy Costs Putting Businesses Under Pressure, LCCI Laments

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has expressed concern about the elevated cost of conducting business in Nigeria, citing factors such as the recent hike in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) and the increase in electricity tariffs.

Dr. Chinyere Almona, the director-general of LCCI, conveyed these concerns in a statement addressed to LEADERSHIP. Almona highlighted the Chamber’s dismay over the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) decision to raise the MPR from 22.75 percent to 24.75 percent, stating that “similarly, we view the recent escalation in electricity tariffs as adding to the already unbearable cost of living and doing business in Nigeria.”

She underscored that these decisions are compounded by challenges in importing and clearing goods at Nigerian ports, with fluctuating import duty exchange rates making business planning arduous. Almona emphasized that feedback from businesses and analysts suggests that these actions will significantly burden the private sector, worsening an already challenging economic landscape.

Almona noted that the private sector, crucial for driving growth and employment in Nigeria, is grappling with heightened borrowing costs, reduced investment incentives, policy uncertainties, and pressure in the foreign exchange market. She observed that the recent MPR hikes have translated into higher interest rates, hindering businesses’ access to credit for essential functions like working capital, expansion, and sustainability.

While acknowledging the rationale behind removing the subsidy on electricity supply to attract foreign investors with a cost-reflective tariff, Almona advocated for subsidizing production rather than consumption. She urged for an extensive metering program to cover all electricity consumers and emphasized the necessity of a robust regulatory and policy framework to attract more foreign investments into the power sector.

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Almona pointed out that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are disproportionately affected by the MPR hike policy, given their thin profit margins and reliance on affordable credit. The surge in borrowing costs stifles their ability to invest in productivity enhancements, hire new employees, and contribute to economic growth.

The Chamber urged the CBN to reconsider its monetary policy stance and refrain from further interest rate hikes. Almona also suggested that the CBN explore alternative policy measures to facilitate credit access, encourage investment, and support entrepreneurship. Additionally, she recommended creating an enabling environment for local meter manufacturing to address the gap in meter deployment.

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Naira appreciates N351 against Dollar at forex in one month

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According to data from FMDQ on the dollar exchange rate spanning from March 8 to April 5, 2024, the Naira has experienced a positive shift, appreciating by N351.12 against the US Dollar within the past month. This indicates an increase from N1,602.17 on March 8 to N1,251.05 per Dollar on Friday. This appreciation amounts to a 21.9 percent increase during the mentioned timeframe, signaling a continued strengthening of the Naira since the previous month.

Muda Yusuf, the Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, attributed this sustained appreciation of the Naira in the foreign exchange market to recent forex reforms implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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