It’s been suggested that you could view anywhere between 15 and 20 properties before you find your ideal home and decide to put in an offer. That’s an awful lot of properties, and a hell of a lot of information to retain. So, it’s important that you get prepared and write down a list of questions that you want to ask the estate agents on your viewings. With that in mind, I’ve put together my top 7 questions that you should be asking estate agents during your viewings.
1. How Long Has The Property Been On The Market For?
So the first question to ask is how long the property’s been on the market for, now you may be able to find this information out from the property portals that you’ve been searching on. However, if a property has been listed with multiple agents, it may not give you the true picture of how long it’s been on the market in total, so always ask the agent the question, if it’s been on the market for a little while, ask why it’s not sold. Are there any underlying issues such as a short lease or perhaps the property hasn’t got the relevant planning permission for some building works that took place.
2. When Was The Property Last Listed For Sale?
Question number two is to ask when the property was last listed? If the current owner has only been in the property for a short period, why are they selling it so soon? This may start alarm bells ringing or there could be a genuine reason why. So, ask the question and then complete the relevant due diligence.
3. Why Are The Vendors Selling?
Question number three is to ask why the vendors are selling. Finding out the vendors motivations will also give you an idea of the urgency of the sale, if they’re looking to move quickly that could play into your hands to be able to negotiate a sale underneath the asking price. If, however they are in no rush, then you may need to play the long game.
4. Have There Been Any Previous Offers?
Question number four is to ask the agent if there have been any previous offers. This will give you an idea about what you’ve got to contend with. Of course, it’s down to the agent to give you a true picture of what’s going on. If there have been lots of offers that have been rejected, this may be because the vendor is holding out for the full asking price. The agent is unlikely to give you an idea in terms of what those previous offers are to the exact pound, but may give you a ballpark figure and this will help you to prepare your own offer.
5. How Old Is The Boiler?
Question number five is to ask how old the boiler is, particularly if the property is over 15 years old, that might suggest that the boiler is also 15 years old too, and it’s very likely going to need to be replaced shortly. Now even for a mid-range combi-boiler, you could be looking at a circa £1,000, which could be a nasty, unexpected surprise if you haven’t accounted for it.
6. What Parking Does The Property Have?
Question number six is to ask about parking. Is there allocated parking? Or is there communal parking? If the property is in a terrace of four houses, and those houses have eight cars between them, but there’s only five communal parking spaces that could cause an issue. If you have on street parking, do you need a permit? How much does that permit cost? If your property has a driveway? Are there any ‘rights of way’ for any neighbours? These are the sorts of questions you should be asking the agent.
7. What Else Should I Know About The Property?
The seventh and final question is to ask the estate agent if there is anything else you should know about the property? Now, this really puts the onus on the agent to be completely transparent with you. Because if there is something that you’ve forgotten to ask this point, they should be telling you, and it could be anything, it might be a nasty neighbour, or it could be a border or boundary dispute. But if you’re investing a lot of money into this property, these are the sorts of things you want to know about beforehand.
So that concludes my top seven questions to ask your estate agent when you’re viewing properties. I hope you found it useful and happy house hunting!