It’s true, buying a home involves a complex process that can swamp us in detail. However, we must not lose sight of our priorities that will make that purchase a successful one. Potential buyers are entitled to full disclosure, and there are some important questions home buyers need to ask sellers. And, the answers form a clearer picture of the sale and help you make up your mind one way or the other. Estate agents are legally obliged to supply you with accurate answers. So, do not forget to cover this list of questions.
Why are they selling?
Instinctively, it is the most natural question to ask. It is also somewhat a personal one. When viewing a property, you are most likely to find the estate agent rather than the owner. If the possibility arises, you can put this question to the owners directly. However, an estate agent can give you clues as to why the owners are selling. Most people move because of work, relationships, a growing family, bereavement, or retirement. While you cannot be entirely sure of the exact purpose of their relocation, it won’t hurt to ask a few questions from the locals. Gather all the information you can because you do not want to be living next to a neighbour from hell or in a house with a criminal past hard to shake off.
What is the length of time the property has been on the market?
Desirable properties get snapped up quickly. If a property has tarried on the market for too long, there is a reason for the hold up. Too long in the books is more than three months. It is very likely the property is overpriced, and in that case, you are in a better position to negotiate a lower price. Inspect the home report carefully for any structural defects that have put off buyers.
How many times has the ownership changed?
If it’s too frequent, you might want to contact previous owners and see what they have to say about the property. Although the property may tick all the right boxes, it could be other factors such as a lack of amenities and good schools in the local area or a noisy neighbourhood that prompted previous owners to move.
What were the previous selling prices?
Learning the price paid by the homeowner for the house gives you a good idea about the value of the property. If the value has gone up, it is an indication that the area is in demand. If the seller bought the house for a much lower price, it leaves room for negotiation to move down the price. Since the homeowner is gaining a sizable profit, it is reasonable to discuss this. If what they paid for the house is higher than or closer to the asking price, reductions are unlikely.
How old is the house?
If the house is not ready to live in and needs a new roof or floor, it is a definite disadvantage to the buyer. Getting to know the age of the house and which components are on their last leg helps you decide if the price you are paying is worth the renovation costs. It’s not just the roof, floor, walls, doors, and windows that have a lifespan, but also the water heater, electrics, plumbing, and heating systems. So, don’t forget to ask about updates to services and energy performance certificate details. If building work is necessary to modify, repair, or upgrade home components up to standard, you need to know if that cost is deductible from the price.
Are there any renovations and home improvements done to the property?
While these are pluses, they can also be duds if the work carried out is not professional. Many homeowners do not shy away from DIYs, so look out for botched work when viewing a house. If there are extensions and conversions built, they should conform to regulations. You do not want a lawsuit on your hands if the loft conversion has no planning permission or the Side Return has no building control approval.
Neighbourhood and surroundings
Location, location, location! Sounds familiar? It is touted as the prime consideration when buying a home for many good reasons. If the neighbourhood is unlivable, it doesn’t matter how grand the house is. You need good transport links, schools, shops, leisure and entertainment opportunities, and a community free of crime and anti-social behaviour. Ask about the council tax band for the locality to make sure it is not too high.
What does the sale include?
While some homes come complete with furnishings, others come stripped of every carpet and curtain. When buying a house, you need to know what’s included in the sale to determine if the value factors in the price. Any fixtures and fittings agreed in the viewing must be present in the purchase. Your conveyance solicitor needs to ensure the terms are respected. You can also enquire when the asking price is a bit too high if the owner is willing to leave behind the white goods.
We hope these questions to ask the estate agent when viewing a property will help you make the right choice. If you want quality of the highest standards, choose a GS Brown Construction house built on a plot of your choice or from a valuable development.