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8 helpful questions to ask when looking at real estate

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There are things to look out for when you’re viewing a property. Maybe you’re trying to weigh up whether it’s worth the asking price, whether it fits your family size, and watch for signs of moisture. Having a list of key questions to ask a real estate agent or owner can help you better understand the property and whether it’s right for you.

Here are eight questions you should ask at every inspection.

1. How long has the property been listed?

If the property has been listed online, you can see how long it has been on the market and should also ask the agent.

The answer can provide valuable information about whether the seller is willing to accept a lower offer. It can also mean that there are problems that you didn’t notice when it was on the market for a long time.

The real estate market has been busy over the past couple of years, and properties have been selling quickly. Therefore, it is also worth asking if there have already been many views or offers.

2. How long have the sellers lived here and why are they moving?

Although it may seem a bit presumptuous, asking questions about the seller and their reason for selling the property can be helpful.

A family home that’s been lived in for years may indicate a friendly neighborhood, while a seller moving to accommodate a growing family may emphasize that it’s too small if you also have children.

If the seller moves relatively soon after buying, it doesn’t mean the property isn’t right for you, but it can give you some insight.

3. Is there a chain?

Understanding the seller’s situation is important because it can affect how long you have to wait to move into your new home. A long chain is likely to experience delays as it will depend on many people successfully finding and buying a home.

If there is a network and you are willing to be flexible and give the seller the time they need to find the right home, they may accept a lower offer.

4. What works have recently been completed on the house?

An estate agent is likely to point out any major renovations or building work that has been carried out recently as this will help increase the value. However, you should ask what work the sellers have done, this can help you understand which areas may need improvement in the coming years and which ones should be pretty reliable.

When the work has been carried out, check for planning permission if required and ask if any work is guaranteed.

If you decide to buy a property, you can also ask your surveyor to check the quality of the work done.

5. Can I see the energy performance certificate?

By law, all homes for sale must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

The EPC will show you how energy efficient the property is and the likely cost of utility bills. It will also note where improvements can be made and the estimated cost of carrying out the necessary works to improve the EPC rating.

6. What fixtures and fittings will be included?

It’s a good idea to get a clear idea of ​​what will be included when you buy from the start. You should not assume that items such as blinds, kitchen appliances or even carpets are being sold with the property.

The seller may also be willing to negotiate if you want to purchase some of the furniture. If you’re buying your first home, this can be a useful way to make sure you have the basics in place when you move in.

7. What is a district?

You should do your own research about the area, but it’s still a good idea to ask, especially if the seller is giving you a tour of the property.

First-hand experience can be very helpful when you’re trying to figure out what your life would look like if you moved.

The current owner will be able to give you information about things like public transport, schools in the area and other facilities you may want to use, such as after-school clubs or leisure centres.

8. What are the neighbors like?

Your relationship with your neighbors can have a big impact on how much you enjoy living in your home, so it’s an important question to ask. If there have been disputes with neighbors in the past, sellers are required by law to tell you if you ask.

If you’re looking for a new home and considering a mortgage, we’re here to help. We can work with you to find the mortgage lender that’s right for you and offer guidance throughout the mortgage loan process.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is intended for retail customers only.

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