Buying or renting a property can be a very stressful situation to be in, especially when it’s not just you moving into the property. Finding an ideal house that fits with your needs, children's needs and expected price is usually one of the hardest aspects of house hunting, so when it comes to getting down to the nitty-gritty once you have found one, make sure that what you’re looking at purchasing fits the bill!
One thing to remember is to always ask questions. The worst thing you can do is not have the confidence to drill the estate agent on the finer details of the property, which can result in disappointment further down the line.
The following key questions are essential to ask any estate agent:
1. Why are the current owners moving or selling the property?
This question is one of the most essential. You should already of done your research into the area, however, there may be underlying reasons as to why the previous tenants/owners wish to sell their property.
Whilst it may just be a change in scenery or new job location, you have to be sure that the previous tenants aren’t moving because of:
the location the house is in being poor
an issue with the property itself, i.e. work needs to be done
issue with crime in the area?
Getting the full answer to this question will help put your mind at ease when making such a huge life decision.
2. Have the sellers already bought a new property?
Whilst you may not think this is necessarily a big deal, it can mean everything when it comes to securing the deal to purchase a new house. Say for instance, the sellers have not yet confirmed a new property, this could potentially jeopardise your purchase of the new property, due to the current owners having a larger likelihood of pulling out if they themselves can not find a new property.
If they have confirmed the purchase of a new property, how long through the process of moving are they? This is an essential piece of knowledge to have with regard to realistic timescales and any issues there may be surrounding them.
3. Is there room to extend?
Many homeowners tend to see the bigger picture when looking at potential new property, i.e. whether they can convert rooms, add extensions or re-do the garden. This being said, many home conversions tend to require planning permissions. With this in mind, it is vital that you get to the bottom of exactly what is allowed to be done on the new property. Also, make sure you take the fact that, if you are looking to re-do certain aspects of the property, then 1; you have the budget, and 2; you are comfortable living in a fix up for a while.
4. How many offers are on the table?
Existing and previous offers show great insights into the flexibility of the seller. If there are little or no offers at present, it may show that the flexibility in which the seller is willing to price the property at is very low, which means you then need to re-evaluate whether you have the budget for the property.
As well as this, the lower the offers, the larger the likelihood of the property either having underlying structural issues, or legal issues in terms of planning, therefore it is essential you ask this at every property you are investing your interest in to.
5. How long has it been on the market?
Every time you see a newly posted property online, it is sometimes the case that these properties have already been listed and taken down on a few occasions. With this in mind, you need to ask yourself, why has this property not been sold yet? Estate Agents will always be honest with the history of a property, i.e, has it had any issues in its structure, does it have issues passing surveys, and more.
Alternatively, if a property is new on the market, it is sometimes a good idea to leave it a few weeks to see the response of the sellers to any other potential offers; if there are any underlying issues, they will be sure to come to fruition over the space of a month or so.
These are just a selection of questions you should be asking your estate agent. With lots of new properties in the Camberwell area, we here at Hunters Camberwell are more than happy to answer any questions that you need to ask in order to put your mind at ease and make for a smooth buying process.