What to ask agents before buying a property
Buying a property can be challenging and you want to make sure you find the perfect house. Being clear on what questions to ask the real estate agent is a good idea. The better your questions, the easier it will be to make a decision on the property. Here are some really helpful questions that you should be asking before purchasing a property.
Real estate expert John McGrath has suggested asking the following questions in your property search.
At an open house or after an inspection:
1. How many contracts are out? This indicates how many other buyers are seriously considering the property.
2. Why is the owner selling? This could alert you to aspects of the property, area or neighbours that you wouldn’t notice at first glance. It could also help with negotiations if you know the owners motivations for selling.
3. Have the owners bought elsewhere? If the owners have already bought another property, you could have the upper hand in negotiations because the owners may want a faster sale.
4. Have the vendors done any major work to the property? You need to ensure that any major work completed on the property is council approved and has been done properly.
5. If it is an auction, ask if the vendors are open to auction pre-offers. In popular areas, houses are often sold prior to auction. You need to make the agent aware of your interest in the property so that you are not left out of any pre-auction negotiations.
When researching a suburb or surrounding areas:
1. Why do people want to live here?
2. Which areas of the suburb are most desirable? Most suburbs have premium, more desirable streets and pockets as well as more affordable areas with less access to amenities.
3. Which parts of the suburb are affected by noise and traffic pollution?
4. Are there any restrictions on renovations, such as heritage areas within the suburb?
5. Are there any major new developments or new infrastructure planned for the suburb?
Another great way to help you find the perfect house is by building relationships with a few agents and brief them on the type of property you’d like to buy. They will be able to suggest houses for you, and even bring to your attention houses that aren’t on the market yet. Around 20% of listings are not advertised publically, so speaking to the agent is the best way to find out about these hidden gems.