Wondering what to ask when viewing properties? Whether it’s your first home, you're moving into something bigger, or downsizing, buying a house is a big deal. There's a lot on the line and you want to make the right choice.
Estate agents are legally bound to tell the truth and it could make all the difference between buying a dream home or buying a home from hell. So, what do you ask them when viewing a house?
The estate agent knows the house inside out, it's their job to. They also have a legal obligation to give you the facts – so you can trust what they tell you.
Below are some of the most important questions you should be asking to get a better understanding of the house:
1. Why is the owner selling?
It’s always good to understand why the current owners are looking to sell. If they’re in a rush to move on, you may even be able to haggle a lower price.
2. What is included in the sale?
You’ll want to know what you’re getting for your money. The sale may include extras such as garden sheds and other fittings and fixtures.
3. How long has it been on the market?
Has the property been up for sale for a while? It’s worth finding out why. You might even be able to get a lower price if it hasn’t managed to sell for a few months.
4. How long have the owners lived there?
A house that changes hands constantly may suggest an underlying problem. It’s good to find out how long the owners have lived in the house.
5. What is the minimum price the seller will accept?
It’s good to know from the outset whether there’s any wiggle room on the price. It could end up saving you thousands in the long run.
6. Have there been any other offers?
Are you going to be getting into a bidding war with someone else? Knowing this can help you decide whether this house is the one for you.
7. When do the sellers have to move out?
Do they need to move out quickly? The sellers may be open to lower offers if so.
8. How old is the property? And is the property listed?
Listed properties may restrict how many changes you can make to the house. It’s also worth knowing that not all insurance providers will insure listed properties. So, find this out early on.
9. How much are utility bills/council tax?
It’s important to take your monthly expenses into account when buying a house. You’ll want to know the tax band and utility bills so you can make sure you can afford the monthly costs.
10. What is the neighbourhood like?
It’s not just about the house. As the cliché goes, it’s also: location, location, location. What are the crime levels? What are the local schools like? Is there public transport close by? All of this plays a part in the bigger picture beyond the house itself.
11. Are the neighbours noisy?
Noisy neighbours can spoil a perfectly good house. Find out as much as you can about the people who’ll be living around you.
12. How old are the drains and guttering and are there any problems with damp?
Repair work to these kinds of issues aren’t cheap. So, it’s good to know about any potential issues that could arise further down the line.
Ready to go for it? Download the checklist by scrolling below! It includes:
- Questions to ask when viewing a property
- Things to check when viewing the property