If you’re serious about buying a property, knowledge is power – and that means asking the right questions – and lots of them – before signing on the dotted lines.
Often the biggest mistake people make when buying a house is becoming emotionally attached before asking all the key questions about the property and ascertaining all of the practical and logical information about whether or not a property is right for you.
Once you get to settlement day it’s too late to ask and all the problems with the home are now your responsibility.
To ensure you have all of the relevant information you need before buying a home, we ask industry experts to reveal the must-ask questions every home buyer and investor needs to ask.
Asking about a property’s sales report is one of the most important questions but many people don’t think to ask it, says Buyer’s Agent Stefan Miraglia, Director of IPC Property in Adelaide.
“You should question the agent on why they think the house is worth what they are selling it for,” Miraglia says.
“Ask them to provide you with a recent sales report that shows other similar properties and what they sold for in recent times.
“You want to make sure the house you are buying is fairly priced compared to the rest of the local market and you are not overpaying.”
2. Why is the vendor selling?
Asking why a vendor is selling a property can assist you when negotiating price, according to Buyer’s Agent Deborah West, Principal of SydneySlice Buyers Agent.
It can potentially save you thousands of dollars when you go to negotiate the sale price.
“If the vendor has already bought a property they will be more motivated to sell,” West says.
“If they are looking to buy a new property they may like a longer settlement period. Is it a divorce or deceased estate? Often a deceased estate will need to run through to auction.”
Knowing the reason behind the sale is invaluable information to a buyer – make sure you ask.
3. How long has the property been on the market?
If a property has been on the market for more than six weeks, assume it is wrongly priced or there is something wrong with it, West says. The average time a home is on the market in Australia is around a month so if it’s drastically different to that then it’s worth asking why.
“Ask if the property was taken to auction and failed to sell and if so, what happened at the auction. If the property was passed in at auction make sure you ask if the pass-in price was from a buyer or if it was a vendor bid.”
There might be something that you haven’t noticed that could affect the value of the property so it is important to ask the agent if there are any issues that could change your mind.
“Even though your building inspector or conveyancer should help pick up most of the potential issues before settlement, you should ask the agent before signing the contract just in case they can point anything out,” Miraglia says.
While you shouldn’t rely on it and need to do independent research: “Most agents want to act in good faith as they want the sale to go through so will tell you upfront if they know of any issues that may affect your decision.”
5. Are the sellers open to negotiating on the price?
If you want to get the best possible price on a house and the price guide is more than you want to pay, make sure from the outset you ask the agent whether or not the seller is open to negotiating and a reduced price.
If you are on a bargain hunt, you will want to be clear on what the minimum amount a seller is happy to let a property go for as you will be able to determine if you can afford it and therefore whether it’s a waste of your time or not looking further into.
6. What’s the sales history of houses in this area?
To give you a clear picture on what properties are worth, how this has changed overtime and to work out what direction your ROI might be if you buy in a suburb that is on the rise, it’s a good idea to do some research and look at the sales history of houses in the area.
You should also ask the agent (and speak to other agents in the area) and ask about the number of houses sold last couple of years, what the trends are, the amount that they were sold for, the peak time of the year when most properties sell in the area and so on.
7. What the suburb profile like in the area and how has it changes overtime?
Looking at the demographics of the area as well as the suburb profiles (amenities, access to transport, parks, schools and so on), is important as you’re not just buying a house but you are also buying into an area.
Chat to both the agent and seller about these details. You will want to know if the area is full of young professionals, families, seniors and so on. Or if the area has grown recently in popularity with one of these groups.
If you’re going to be happy in an area – and to also understand the area and its likelihood of rising in popularity or the suburb improving over the coming years – you should buy a property in an area that suits you and your lifestyle.
For any real estate need either Buying or Selling or Investing , contact me either via email or phone given below.