Before you decide to purchase a home, make sure you ask the right questions. It could mean the difference between purchasing a dream home and buying a dump. Estate agents are legally required to tell the truth.
This is our list of smart questions you should ask an estate agent before buying a house.
Although the estate agent is not required to answer your questions, they may be able to provide some insight if you are lucky. The owner might be desperate to sell because they are going overseas for work, or they may accept a lower price.
Are there any things you need to know about the house? If you’re thinking of buying, the biggest fear is that you might be missing out on a major negative aspect that other people know. Is your local train station closing? Is there a sewerage plant in the area? Are the neighbours next door the family from hell or a sewerage plant? It has been reported that people have moved into homes belonging to convicted mass-murderers, even though they didn’t know it. Ask your neighbors or shopkeepers what their opinions are about the house.
You can also find this information online at the Land Registry website. Be prepared to look up past sold prices and ask questions about any changes in the property’s worth, especially if it has dropped in value.
You may be looking at a property to enjoy the unobstructed view of the fields that it backs onto. If there’s a plan to build a housing development on these fields, it is important that you know as soon as possible. This is a great question to ask, as you won’t hear anything about planned developments until the searches are completed.
Are the greenhouse or garden shed included? Are all fixtures and fittings included? What is the boundary? You need to see everything you get.
Ask the agent why the house isn’t being sold if it has been on the market for a while (more than 3 months). Is there a problem that others have discovered that you don’t have? Are you charging too much? It could be that the seller is willing to accept a lower price if the item has been on the market for a long time.
It is worth asking. It’s important to ask if the estate agent wants to collect their commission and assumes they are familiar with the bottom line.
It is important to determine why they are leaving after a brief period. Are they noisy neighbors?
Is the property ever changed hands multiple times?
If the property is frequently sold, you should be aware of potential problems. Find out the reason why previous owners have moved on. You might even be able to reach them and ask why.
An agent who is a good one will explain the reasons behind the asking price to you so that you can make an informed decision. If you are lucky, the agent may tell you that the seller has overvalued the house. To get an idea of the selling prices in your area, you should visit similar homes. How can I be sure I am not paying too much?
Although it sounds absurd, asking them if their bottom line can be negotiated could save you hundreds of dollars. Agents will usually tell you that it is in their best interest to sell, even at a lower price. If they don’t sell, then they don’t get paid.
Most likely, the agent will tell you if any other offers were made but not how much. They have a lot of incentive to agree to a price so they might whisper some heavy hints. It is easier to decide what offer you should make if you know about other offers. Make an offer and negotiate the price
Are the sellers likely to have found another home already? They may be eager to sell as soon as possible if they have. If they wait to find a new place, this adds to the uncertainty and all the risk associated with being in a group. This question will tell you where you stand and what the seller’s desire to move.
This is something agents don’t like – they have to negotiate. However, they can’t stop sellers from speaking with you. It can be the best thing that you do. Agents would be shocked to learn that most sellers are just like you. They can’t hide their ignorance when you ask them why they are moving. You can get a better idea of the house by asking them about their worst and best points.
Evening drinks on a beautiful terrace are not as enjoyable if it faces north. Maybe you just love the sun rising in the morning. In that case, you should ensure your house faces south-east. What rooms do you use most? Which direction should they face?
Are you able to view the relevant building and planning control consents? You can usually search online for granted and denied planning applications on the website of your local planning authority. It would be terrible if you purchased your dream home and then found out that you had to take half off it down.
You may have restrictions on what you can do to the property from the outside or inside. You should check the restrictions that apply to properties located in conservation areas.
Make sure you get exact amounts. If you need to, speak to the seller. These may seem minor considerations compared to the cost of the house. However, they will be recurring expenses that will increase the stress of owning a home.
There are many factors that can influence the Energy Performance Certificate rating, which tells how efficient the property is in terms of energy efficiency. Are there loft insulations? Is there wall cavity insulation When was the installation of all these insulations? Is the boiler covered in lagging? What number of outside walls do you have?
This is not only a good thing to know, but it is also more costly to maintain older homes.
What is the average time it takes for water to reach your tap? Are the taps even functional?
Many people will paint a room to cover cracks or damp. Check out our DIY Survey for House Hunters to see other useful checks.
You can hide cracks in walls with furniture, or cover up problems on the floor with rugs. Make sure you inspect everything. Once you have accepted an offer, it is worth getting an independent, expert building survey. They will spot things that you might not.
If so, when was it last replaced? What was the last time it was replaced?
It is very costly to replace drainage. It might seem a shame that you have to replace your beautiful lead gutters. Make sure it’s not raining to make sure nothing is leaking
If the seller has filed any complaints against their neighbor, they must tell you if possible.
What is the quality of schools? What is the crime rate? What are the transport links? What is the closest petrol station? It is good to get the opinion of an estate agent, but it is important to do your own research. See How can I choose the right area to live?