Are Realtors certified by some organization or the Government?
All real estate practitioners i.e. Agents and Brokers/ Dealers must be licensed by the Real Estate Board (under The Real Estate Dealers and Developers Act) which is the government’s licensing and regulatory authority. Please note that not all real estate Agents and Brokers are Realtors.
A Realtor is a designate or professional status, for members of a professional real estate association affiliated with The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and whose members abide by and are committed to its Code of Ethics and professional conduct. NAR is based in the United States of America and is the largest professional organization in the world. In Jamaica, our organization is called the “REALTORS ASSOCIATION OF JAMAICA” which is an affiliate member of NAR.
Why should you encourage someone to invest in real estate? What benefits can be derived?
Owning land and any real property is one of the safest ways to hedge against inflation. Buying Real Estate is a long term investment that not only satisfies the need for shelter but it is a form of security that can be used to access loans for economic and social advancements. More importantly real estate is the only investment medium which affords the owner benefits from a steady income stream as well as capital appreciation and increased market values that could run between 10-20 percent per annum depending on the location, level of maintenance/upgrading and property type.
Our geographic location, language, the strategic location of our shipping ports and investment policies, make Jamaica a prime location for foreign direct investments. Despite the specter of our high crime rate, these positive attributes contribute to the continued growth and demand for real estate in Jamaica. Additionally, more and more Jamaicans residing overseas exercise their desire to come home and invest in owning ‘a little piece of the rock’.
The laws of demand and supply determine that with a growing demand and relatively unmatched supply, this contributes as a driver of increases in property values. The time to buy therefore is always NOW.
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What are the processes involved in buying real estate through an agent?
Dealing with a real property purchase can be a challenging exercise for the first-time buyer who does not understand the process and the various requirements throughout the transaction. This experience however can be much more exciting and relaxing if a Realtor guides the process.
The Realtor better understands the market and is able to advice prospective buyers on the best options available, based on affordability, family size and the property location relative to place of work and schools. After viewing and selecting the property. The prospective buyer makes an offer through the Realtor. If this Offer is accepted, the Vendor’s Attorney prepares the requisite Agreement of Sale. The deposit is paid to the Vendor’s Attorney on signing of the agreement.
The buyer is required to do a valuation report and a Surveyor’s Identification report, especially if a mortgage is being obtained. The Realtor will assist with providing copies of the Certificate of Title, Certificate of Payment of Taxes, and last utilities bills, which they will need for completing the mortgage application. The Realtor acts as the interface with the lending agency, the Attorneys, seller and buyer, to ensure the smooth flow of information and transaction activities.
The sale is legally concluded when the Certificate of Title is duly endorsed in the names (s) of the purchaser (s) and the mortgage proceeds (if applicable) is duly paid over to the Vendor’s Attorney. Unless otherwise agreed, it is at this stage that the new owners are delivered with a Letter of Possession.