The list of questions to ask an estate agent when viewing a property is endless. It can be quite daunting, especially if you haven’t done it before. However we have put together a few pointers to get you started – pay attention to the last one, as we feel this is the most important question to ask.

We don’t see the benefits from selling a property dishonestly. We like to reassure both our sellers and our buyers that we are always honest and upfront. Therefore, we love it when you ask us the right questions when buying a property, so we can be sure it is the right one for you!

Don’t forget Campbells also provides a buying service to our sellers whereby we can represent you when buying a new home. To make it as stress-free for you as possible! Find Out More Here

It is important you ask lots of questions when you come to buy your property because after all it is a valuable asset! If you buy a property without knowing everything you need to know then you’re effectively gambling your chances which isn’t a good idea!

Take a quick look at these questions the team has prepared and make sure you ask your agent next time you view a property…

1. Why is the owner selling?

This is an important question to ask for a few reasons. For example, there might be something wrong with the property OR there might be something wrong with the area.  Although any respectable agent wouldn’t hide things like this, as a buyer, it is also your responsibility to make sure you find out things like this.

However, on a more positive side, it might give you peace of mind knowing that there isn’t any particular reason, they might just be looking for a new property to suit their needs.

Remember some agents may be skeptical about you asking this question so be careful or of course, they may just not know!

It may also be worth asking how long the owners have lived there. If they have been there a while then that’s great news! If they have only been there a short time then you need to make sure there isn’t a bad reason why they are in a hurry to move.

2. Exactly what is included in the sale?

It is important to know what is included in the price you are paying, for example:

  • What appliances in the kitchen are staying
  • What land is yours and where exactly are the land boundaries?
  • Who owns which fence?
  • Are there any rights of way?
  • Is the garden shed or greenhouse included or what about any other fixtures or fittings?
  • Most good agents will have filled in an NAEA questionnaire or their own FAQ sheet that they would have gone through with the seller so these should be easy questions!

3. How did the agent come up with the Guide Price?

A respectable Estate Agent will be happy to tell you what they took into consideration when they decided on the marketing price for the property and their justifications as to why they came to the price that they did. You can then make a judgment on this.

Don’t forget the marketing price isn’t always a reflection of the price the vendor is looking for. A Guide Price can be interpreted in different ways, as can ‘Offers in Excess Of’ and ‘Offers In The Region Of’.

 

See what the Estate Agent says first. Don’t be offended if they can’t give you a direct answer because they are just doing their job. A good agent will ask you what you think about the price, a ‘not-so-good’ agent will probably give away the lowest price the vendor will accept (good for you but bad for their client!).

So there is no harm in asking.

While you’re at it, you could also ask about other properties in the area that they are selling and what the prices are for them.

4. How much will your tax be?

Don’t forget to consider council tax and stamp duty tax when buying a property! Despite these costs only being small compared to what you will be paying for the property itself, some taxes are still reoccurring costs and is something that should be taken into consideration

You also have an legal fees that you should take into consideration!

5. What can they tell you about the local neighbourhood?

A good Estate Agent will also sell you the local neighbourhood not just the property, after all, you’re going to be living with your fellow neighbours for a good few years to come so you want to make sure you are in an area that you are comfortable in.

Ask about the local schools and what catchment area the property is in if this is relevant to you.

Try and see if you can find out what the local neighbours are like, a good Estate Agent would have already asked these questions while talking to the vendor.

6. How long has the property been on the market?

This will give you a better idea as to where your offer needs to be or where the vendors expectations are. If the property has been on the market for less than two weeks, they are going to be looking at the marketed price or possibly even more if there are lots of viewings (it is quite normal at the moment for properties to sell in excess of the Guide Price).

If the property has been on the market for more than four weeks (certainly in this market) then it is possible that the vendor will be up for negotiation.

If the property has been on the market for more than 6 weeks in this market then it could be (not always – there can be other reasons) that the property is being marketed for too much money or there is something wrong with it.

So asking how long the property has been on the market is really important.

7. What are the sellers looking to do?

This one is really important. Are the sellers buying on and therefore will you have to wait for them to find a house? Or are they moving into rental accommodation or with friends or family?

This will help manage your own expectations as to how long it will take before you move and you may decide it is not the right property for you if it is going to take you six months to move in.

8. Ask the agent what would they like to know about the property if they were buying.

Just be honest! Ask your agent what they would like to know if they were buying the property and get them to answer the questions for you! They are there to help you and will likely be happy to give their own opinion!