Inspection Fee and Its Negative Impacts on Real Estate Transactions, By Oluwakayode Abe

The profession of Estate Management and Valuation faces significant challenges due to the prevalence of unqualified individuals operating as quacks on a daily basis. The lack of awareness about the role and importance of an Estate Surveyor, along with the advantages of dealing with them, has had detrimental effects on various stakeholders in the Real Estate sector.
An Estate Surveyor is a qualified professional who has undergone formal education in “Estate Management” from an accredited institution. They have obtained certification from reputable organizations like the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and been elected by the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) to practice in the field of Estate Management and Valuation. Despite the importance of their expertise, many Nigerians remain unfamiliar with their roles and qualifications.
This lack of awareness has allowed unscrupulous individuals to exploit unsuspecting individuals by posing as Estate Agents. These self-proclaimed agents can be found on the streets, ready to take advantage of those seeking real estate services. They lack the necessary qualifications, knowledge, and professionalism required in the industry.
These quacks typically charge exorbitant fees, often as high as N5,000, for property inspections, even for properties that have already been rented. To maximize their profits, they may take multiple people to the same property in a single day, disregarding the needs and interests of their clients.
Their unprofessional conduct is another cause for concern. They often exhibit rudeness and a lack of respect towards potential tenants, tarnishing the reputation of legitimate Estate agents and eroding public trust in the industry.
Apart from the financial implications for individuals, these quacks also lack an understanding of the legal aspects of their work. This ignorance leads to poorly drafted tenancy agreements and legal disputes between tenants and landlords, causing unnecessary stress and inconvenience.
Moreover, the impact of these quacks is not limited to individuals alone. The Nigerian government suffers revenue losses in terms of property tax due to their involvement in the real estate sector. The presence of unlicensed agents reduces the government’s ability to collect taxes from unreported rental income.
To address this pressing issue, several measures need to be taken. Public awareness campaigns are essential to educate the public about the risks of dealing with unlicensed agents and the benefits of engaging registered and qualified Estate Surveyors and Valuers. Empowering consumers with knowledge on how to verify an agent’s credentials will help them make informed decisions and avoid falling victim to fraud.
Collaboration between the government, real estate industry, and consumer protection organizations through public-private partnerships can also make a significant impact. By pooling resources and expertise, stakeholders can develop comprehensive strategies to combat the presence of quacks and protect the interests of the public.
Additionally, governments should enforce strict regulations in the real estate sector, ensuring that only licensed professionals are allowed to operate. Implementing minimum qualifications, conducting background checks, and regular audits of real estate agents and agencies can help maintain the integrity and professionalism of the industry.
By taking these proactive measures, the real estate industry can effectively curb the spread of quacks, foster transparency, and build trust among all stakeholders, ultimately ensuring a safer and more reliable real estate market for everyone involved.
Oluwakayode Abe contributed this article through

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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