Estate agents have a reputation for being secretive and difficult to work with. However, the truth is that they are just as concerned about your satisfaction as you are! In order to make sure that everything goes smoothly from start to finish, here’s a list of top 15 things you should ask your estate agent before buying a home.
- How long has the property been on the market?
This is an important question to ask your estate agent before making any decisions. If the property has been on the market for a long time, it’s likely that there are some problems with it and you may be able to negotiate a lower price or better terms as a result.
- Does this look like something we could afford?
It’s one thing being told how much money you need but another figuring out if those numbers add up in real life! Take your budget seriously by asking about mortgages and fees associated with buying a home so that there aren’t any surprises down the line when things start getting serious.
- How much commission will I be expected to pay?
This is an important question to ask, as estate agents generally charge around commission on the sale of a property. By knowing how much you’ll need to pay upfront, you can budget for it and avoid any nasty surprises if your home doesn’t sell immediately.
- Has anyone made an offer on the property yet?
If you’re buying a home, there’s always the chance that someone else has already made an offer on it. By asking estate agents about any other offers made on the property before your visit, you can get ahead of potential competition and secure yourself a great deal!
- How did you arrive at the asking price?
Estate agents are experienced negotiators, and can often use their expertise to buy properties for less than other buyers.
If you ask the estate agent how they came up with the asking price of a property, it gives them an opportunity to explain why they think they’re offering such a good deal – which might help you decide if this is the right home for you.
- Have you sold any other properties in the area?
Some estate agents only sell in certain areas, so if they’ve sold other properties near yours it’s likely they know the area well and can give you detailed information about your new neighborhood.
- How many offers has the seller had so far?
Knowing how popular the property is could tell you how long you have to make an offer and whether you need to increase your bid to stand a chance.
- How long have the owners lived there?
A long-term owner is likely to have taken better care of the property – but they might also be asking for a higher price as they’ll want to recoup their costs as soon as possible.
- What kind of fixtures and fittings come with the property?
Chances are, you won’t want to change everything in the home when you move in – so it’s worth finding out whether the oven, dishwasher, and other appliances are included.
If the current fixtures and fittings aren’t to your liking, ask whether you can have them removed before you move in, and, if so, at what cost.
- What is the neighborhood like?
You’ll want to know how good transport links are – as well as local amenities such as shops and schools – but don’t just rely on second-hand information from friends or family. Visit the area for yourself during different times of day to get a good idea of what it’s like.
- What kind of energy certificates does the property have?
Energy certificates are now a legal requirement in the US, so it’s important to know whether the property you’re interested in meets current standards.
The lower the rating, the higher your monthly bills are likely to be – so you’ll want to factor this into your budget.
- What are the fees you charge in addition to my rent/mortgage repayments?
Find out what fees are payable upfront, and which ones come with other costs. For example, you might have to pay a higher deposit if the agency charges too much for its services.
- When do these come out of my account and how often will they occur?
Some agents charge monthly, others take the money out with your rent/mortgage repayments – so check this before you make a decision.
- Which other properties have recently sold nearby, what were their selling prices compared to mine – both per square meter and overall price range?
It’s a good idea to get an idea of the market in your area, and how much similar properties have been selling for. This will give you a good indication of whether you’re getting a fair deal or not.
- Are there any restrictions on who can buy this property?
Check for planning restrictions on the property early on – you don’t want to fall in love with a home, only to find out that you can’t actually live in it!
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Northwest Realty Group is committed to making sure you are living your “happily ever after” in your dream home.
We’re here to help you make home buying and selling an easy and enjoyable process from start to finish.
Our agents will work closely with you every step of the way so you can have peace of mind knowing that we’ll be there for any questions or concerns you may have. If you want to buy or sell property, then contact us today at 702-677-0039!