Questions To Ask a Real Estate Agent
Buying a house can be stressful: You’re dealing with mortgage experts and agents; trying to get familiar with the jargon, and more importantly you’ll have to make sure that you’re making a good decision. You might find the ‘ideal’ home, only to discover later that you forgot to ask something crucial and you get disappointed.
Getting a house survey is the best way to go once you’ve decided on a house, but still, you’d better look for any red flags so you can avoid wasting your time.
When you’re viewing properties, ask your estate agent the following questions. Even if you don’t get a direct response, their tone will give you an idea.
Questions You Should Ask the Real Estate Agent When Viewing Properties
What’s Going on in the Neighborhood?
The real estate agent you’re working with should be very familiar with the surrounding area. Ask what are the expected improvements in the area: a new building, a new shopping ball, the closure of a school. Try to learn if there will be any major changes that could improve or worsen the neighborhood’s appeal.
What Is the Motivation of the Seller?
When looking at a house to buy, one of the first questions you should ask the estate agent is why the owner is selling. Are they moving abroad? Are they going to retire in another country or are they moving because of the bad neighbors? If you can’t get a clear answer from the agent, try to speak to the locals. You don’t want to buy a house that has an unfavorable issue that others are aware of.
How Long Have the Owners Lived There?
Have there been multiple owners in the last few years? Have the current owners only lived in the house for a short time? If they’ve been living there for a very short time, beware as this could be a red flag. Try to get clear answers from the agent as to why they want to sell the house. If you get a vague reply, try to speak to the owner directly.
When Are You Available for House Showings?
When it comes to finding a property, communication and availability are crucial. If you want to view properties on weekends, an agent who only does weekday showings will not be a good fit for you. Similarly, you’ll want to engage with an agent that can answer your inquiries and questions immediately so you don’t have to wait for days.
What Is the Neighborhood Like?
What is the crime rate in your area? How good is the transportation? Where is the closest petrol station? While it is important to hear what the estate agent has to say, also do your independent research before you find the best place to live.
What Is Included in the Purchase Price?
When you view a house, ask what is included in the price. Fixtures are (usually) included in the price of a home. This includes things like kitchen cabinets, bathroom suites, and power outlets that are permanently attached to the property. White goods, rugs, and curtain rails, on the other hand, are classified as fittings. The owner has the option of leaving them or taking them. Check with the agent, as these items may affect your decision to buy the property but they will not become yours after you sign the deed.
Has Long Has the House Have Been on the Market?
The property’s listing on a website will give you an idea of how long it has been on the market. Still, ask the agent. A real estate agent should give you accurate time and the reason. Maybe the seller hasn’t found the right buyer. Maybe they’re delaying as the construction of their new home hasn’t finished yet. When you get an answer, you’ll have an idea of whether there are undesirable things about the property or if the seller is delaying.
What Is the Planning Permission Status?
This is another essential question you should be asking the agent. If it’s a listed building, you won’t be able to do any future work. Also, ask if the current owners’ request to make changes have ever been rejected by the authorities. If you have the chance, you can also check this with the neighbors next door.
How Has the Price Been Determined?
A good real estate agent should provide you with a clear explanation of the asking price. Still, feel free to do your own search and look at the other properties for sale in the neighborhood. This way you can see if the house you’re interested in is overpriced.
When Is the Seller Moving Out?
Have the sellers found a new place to live? They may be eager to sell quickly if they have. Otherwise, having to wait for them to find somewhere else adds to the uncertainty. Asking this question will help you understand where you, as a prospective buyer, stand and how eager the seller is to sell.
What Work Has Been Done to the House?
The work done by the previous owner may save you a lot of money, but check whether it was done to hide a deeper problem. If possible, check if large-scale projects were completed by a professional and to a high standard.
Have There Been Any Other Offers?
If there have been other offers, the agent will most likely tell you about them. They may not tell you the exact amount but still, you’ll probably get a hint. This will help you to determine what you should be offering.
Are You Able To Speak With the Sellers Directly?
Agents don’t prefer this but they can’t stop you from interacting with the sellers. Most sellers you’re going to encounter aren’t industry experts and they are going to give responses that agents won’t. Speaking to the seller will also help you get a better sense of the house.
The Bottom Line
Investing in a property, no matter how small or how big, is a significant transaction. In this journey, you must work with an agent with whom you’re comfortable. Do your research too but don’t forget to ask your questions to the agent directly.
Working with the right person will make the process more enjoyable and profitable, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Good luck!
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