Curious questions to ask Real Estate Agent when buying a property
13 Nov 2018
The selling agent is your key point of contact throughout the process, and may hold more information about the property than can be gleaned from the listing or an inspection.
1. Who owns the property and what’s their story?
To hear about past joys that had taken place there and how they felt about the property brings feeling of real and makes the whole thing very satisfying. It’s great to hear which features owners particularly loved, and understand the house even more. It makes it a richer experience that will certainly benefit when making a decision.
2. What do you think of this suburb, this street and this location?
Agents, particularly if they’re local to the area, can be a veritable font of knowledge that’s very useful to tap into. They tend to know the area well and how one suburb compares with the next, how this street is next to the others, and whether it’s in the best location for the price that’s being asked.
3. Who are the neighbours?
How important good neighbours are to the quality of your life? You need to work out if you’ll be living with people like you, or whether they won’t suit you or your lifestyle. For instance, if you’re a hipster, you don’t want to be surrounded by mums and dads and kids. But if you’re a parent, then you’ll want to know there are other kids around, that your kids will like the area, and that there’ll be willing childminders around!
4. Have the owners done any renovations lately and are there any DA pending in area?
Checking how much a property last sold for may be misleading as to its current value if, for example, $1 million worth of rebuilding work has been done in the interim.
Buyer also needs to make sure any work has been council-approved, and well done, and whether there are still any warranties (that are) valid.
It may also be worth asking the agent if there are any development applications in the area that might affect the property: blocking the view or creating noise for a year.
5. How much do the owners really want?
Of course, the agent may choose not to answer or, if a property is up for auction. But it’s always worth having the conversation, otherwise, how do you know whether it’s worth bidding on if you don’t know whether it’s within your budget?
It’s also good to find out how motivated a vendor is to sell. If, for example, they’ve already bought another home and are looking to move soon, and need to the money for their own house sale to pay for their purchase, then you’ll know you have more negotiating power. Don’t be afraid by asking if they would accept a pre-auction offer.
6. Could you provide a list of comparable sales from the last three months?
This could either validate the price they’re asking – or show it up as completely unrealistic. It could give a buyer more confidence to make a good offer for the property, or convince that you should walk away.
- Based on Domain article Six questions you should ask a real estate agent when buying a home
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