Buying a home is a very exciting prospect, but achieving it can take a lot of time, effort and careful thinking. Estate agents can be the biggest help during the process of buying a home because not only are they experts in the field, but they are legally bound to tell you the truth.
Estate agents can guide you through the process and help you buy a property the correct way and avoid any disappointment. We have made a list of questions you should be asking your agent before you make an offer on any property. Print out this page, or jot down these 9 questions and make sure you get answers!
If you have found a home that looks perfect and ticks a lot of boxes for you, you should ask why the owner is selling. It could simply be that they are changing location for work, or they have had a job opportunity overseas. If this is the case, then they will need to sell the house quickly. This insider information can be very useful as you could put in a lower offer as they may accept due to time sensitivity.
Once you find a property you are interested in, you should ask the estate agent how long the home has been on the market. The reason for this is similar to the above point; it can indicate how time-sensitive the sale is to the vendor. If the property has been on the market for a long time, the seller will likely be getting frustrated, so you could look to put in a lower offer than the asking price as they might waver due to the need to sell.
A good estate agent will be able to provide you with a justification as to why they priced a particular property at a certain amount. An explanation of the price can help you to better understand the quality of the home and why it could be suited to you.
Asking the estate agent when the vendors need to move out of the property can indicate how soon they want to sell. For example, if you are looking to move in as soon as possible, but the owners of the property you are interested in can’t move out for three months, it might not be the best option. On the other hand, there is a chance that the owners have already moved out, and if this is the case, they may want to sell quick. This gives you the opportunity to offer lower than the asking price to see if they are willing to waver.
Knowing which way the property faces can be very useful information, so it is worth asking the estate agent. The most wanted is a south-facing home because this will provide you with the most hours of sunshine. But, while this is important, it is also great to know which rooms will have the sun shining through the windows at what time in the day.
Your estate agent should be able to provide you with a figure of what the council tax will cost at the property you are interested in and also the average cost of bills in the area for a home of the same size. Knowing these figures can help you understand whether or not you would be able to afford the property in the long run. It is all well and good being able to buy the home, but if you can’t make monthly payments, then you could end up in some difficulty.
The Energy Performance Certificate states how energy efficient the property is, but it can be confusing. Feel free to ask the estate agent about the Energy Performance Certificate and get them to explain the figures further, so you have a better understanding.
It is always nice to know how old a property is, but it is also useful information because sometimes the maintenance and upkeep of an older home can be more expensive. For example, a 300-year-old cottage is more likely to have structural problems in comparison to a home that was built only ten years ago. Ask the estate agent the age of the property so you can know more about the likelihood of any future problems.
The estate agent should have an excellent understanding of the local area so any questions you have about the neighbourhood, don’t be shy to ask. Some questions that are worth asking about the local area are:
- What are the schools like?
- Where is the nearest convenience store?
- How far away is public transport?
- What is the crime rate like?
- Is there a petrol station nearby?
As well as asking the estate agent for information on the neighbourhood, you can also conduct some online research to answer any questions that they cannot. When you visit the property for a viewing, there are more questions to ask at this stage, and for more information on this, you can take a look at our previous blog; property viewing tips for buyers.
We hope that you have found this list of questions you should ask when buying a home useful. We would advise that you take note of these questions or print off this blog and use it as a checklist when in discussions with an estate agent. By doing this, you can avoid missing any points and ensure you are learning everything you need to know about the property.
Here at Godfrey, Short and Squire, we are an estate agency based in West Devon, and we are experts in the field. We have homes for sale in Okehampton and the surrounding areas, so if you are interested in moving to the South West, please do get in contact with us.
You can either give us a call on 01837 54504 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can take a look at our social media channels for more useful tips and tricks about buying and selling or renting and letting property. We post to our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest frequently, so follow us for regular updates!