Before putting in an offer on a property, you need to make sure that it’s the one. But how do you really know? It starts by asking the right questions during the house viewing to understand whether this property ticks all the right moves. To make sure you’re finding out everything you need to know, here are 10 questions you should ask when viewing a property.
Why are the homeowners selling?
A lot of people don’t like asking this question as they feel like they’re being nosy but, finding out why the current homeowners are moving and can put you in a stronger position as a buyer.
Sometimes, the estate agent won’t be able to tell you the reason due to sellers’ privacy, but they might be able to hint at their current circumstances. You might find out they’re desperate to sell, due to their job or family, and so would be open to offers.
It can also give you an insight into the property and what might be missing for the current homeowner. They might feel there is a lack of space, the garden is a little small or the area isn’t for them. This might help you to understand whether you too will experience the same sticking points in the future.
How long has the property been on the market? Has there been any offers?
Asking the estate agent how long the property has been on the market for and whether there have been any offers will help you to assess the quality of the property and desirability of the area.
If a house has been sat on the market for a long period of time, or sales have fallen through, it could indicate that there are issues with the property itself or the area it’s in.
Having said that, there are several factors that can affect the saleability of a home which has nothing to do with the property itself such as a change in the economy or stamp duty.
Just make sure to do your research on the property and surrounding area. Hopefully, the estate agent showing you round will be able to answer any and all questions you have about the property, putting your mind at ease.
What is the area like and is there anything we need to know?
If you’re new to an area, it’s really important to find out what your local area is like. Does it have a busy town centre, are their local walks to enjoy, does it have good road access, does the area have fibre, is it noisy, do local roads get congested, is there plenty of parking? Make sure to ask as many questions like these as possible as it will help you build a picture of what you could expect if you moved into the area.
It’s also work asking specifically about any proposed building developments in the area. Although new developments can help drive up house prices and make your local area more desirable, they can also be a potential disruption. Road access might be limited or worse case, a new development might direct impact your home such as blocking views.
Don’t be afraid to ask these types of questions. You can also do your own research by visiting the property at different times of the day. This will give you a broader overall perspective of the area too.
Has there been any major work done recently?
It’s always a good idea to find out about any major works that have been done on the house in recent years and why it was done.
If they have had things like the roof redone, it could mean one less job on your to do list if you moved in, saving you a lot of money. If they’ve built a new extension, this might simply be because the owner wanted more space or better their living conditions. But if they’ve done work on the foundations for example, it could highlight issues with the property that you need to consider before putting in an offer.
Obviously, having a survey done of the property should reveal any issues like this but asking the question before you get to that point can give you a heads up, saving you time and money.
What are the owners intending to leave at the property?
Some homeowners take everything with them when they move, other plan on leaving certain things, so it’s worth finding out what’s going and what’s staying. Ask whether they intend to leave major appliances such as the cooker and any built-in appliances such as the washing machine or fridge. If they’re going, the cost of replacing them might affect your budget.
If there are certain things you want them to leave such as the green house, shed or even light fittings, ask the question. Some owners are happy to negotiate and include those items into the sale.
A little bit of advice from me, don’t get hung up on the small details though. All these things can be replaced so don’t let little details be the reason why you don’t get the dream house.
How old are the appliances and major systems?
There’s nothing worse than moving into your new home to find out you have no hot water because the boiler is on its last legs. Make sure to ask the estate agent how old certain appliances and systems are.
Appliances such as cookers and systems such as the electrics or heating can be major expenses, especially when they need replacing. Ask this question will give you an idea of whether any unforeseen expenses will pop up over the next few years of you living in your new home.
What are the neighbours like? Are they the owners or tenants?
With more and more people living in even closer quarters, it’s important to know what your neighbours are like. Finding out who’s living next to you could save you a lot of hassle later. on
For someone people, having a family next door is a worry due to things like noise. For other people with young families, it’s an opportunity to meet new friends and gives them a clue that the local area is ideal for bringing up children.
Find out whether the neighbours are homeowners or tenants. If they are tenants, it could mean you’ll see a lot of different people and families moving over the years. For some this is a bonus, for others, a worry about the risk of not getting on with a new neighbour.
Does the garden get the best of the weather?
There’s nothing better than sitting in the garden, enjoy a glass of wine, reading a book or firing up the BBQ when the sun is shining. But what if your garden is always in shade. If your outdoor space is a big part of your life, find out whether the properties garden gets the best of the weather. If the garden is south facing, you know the property going to get the sun all year round.
What are the local amenities like?
Even though you can do a lot of the research yourself, ask the estate agent or current homeowners about things such as restaurants, pubs, shops, public transport, schools, and leisure centres in the area.
It’s good to know you have what you need close by. It can also give you an idea of whether your local villages, towns, cities have lots going on. The more local amenities, usually means, the bigger and busier that area is.
If there are certain things that are important to you and your life style such as your fitness or local schools, make sure to drill down on the details. Ask specific questions such as, ‘What school catchment is the property in?’ or ‘What local fitness classes are available?’.
Are the sellers part of a chain?
Finding out whether the owners are part of chain will give you a clue as to how fast the sale will go through and how quickly you would be able to move in. Although a chain isn’t a deal breaker, it might mean you have to wait until they find somewhere else, or your completion date will be affected by buyers further up or down the chain.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, get in touch with our friendly team today on Tel: 01423 712461 or Email: email@example.com. With years of experience and knowledge of the housing market, our estate agents will value your home as well as giving their recommendations on the best strategy to sell your property.