Getting the services of an estate agent when looking around for a home is always a great idea – it will save you much time and therefore much money in the end. If you have a good estate agent, he or she will understand exactly what you want – and your chances of finding the perfect property will greatly improve. However, purchasing property is a big undertaking, and you still need to be very careful before making that final decision. So what’s the best way to go about scouting for a house? What should you be careful of? Here’s a list of the most important questions you should ask an estate agent when purchasing property.
Ask about motive to sell
It’s an important question: not only could the answer provide you with details on what could be wrong with the house, it will also give you a hint on how much bargaining power you have. For example, if the owner needs to sell quickly or is leaving for abroad, you may be able to negotiate the price.
Understand the scope of the property
Be clear on what is included and what is excluded when it comes to the property you’re buying. Is the garden house included? How about the greenhouse? Make sure you know what you’re paying for, and that this is contractually bound by details in the contract.
Understand the house and the market
Do some research about the house itself: has it been on the market many times, and if so, why? Also, do some research about the houses around your prospect – is the price in line with what you would expect from the neighbourhood?
How many offers have the owners received so far? Have there been any major works done to the house? Do you have noisy neighbours? Where’s the nearest school? Remember, the estate agent is obligated by law to tell you the truth – make use of it.
Never be shy to ask questions, even if they seem ridiculous at first. Ask about energy consumption (you may ask to see a bill). Ask whether or not any room has been redecorated recently (perhaps to cover up mould or cracks). Check out the neighbours and see what they have to say about the neighbourhood. Bring a compass and see if that nice veranda or terrace really faces south. There’s no such thing as asking stupid questions – often, the truth only surfaces with questions and answers that seemingly have nothing to do with the issue at hand. Your new home is a large investment, after all; and you deserve to know what you’re getting into, as a mortgage broker from Flagstone.co.uk will always tell you.