With an abundance of inspections happening each weekend, it can be tempting to pack your calendars to view as many properties as possible in those 48 hours. But are you leaving enough time to have a chat with the agents? No, we’re not talking about that quick name and number exchange before you enter the property, we mean really chat.
While they’ve been enlisted by the seller, agents can also be a great resource for the buyers on their quest to find their next home or investment. As well as giving you insightful information that will help you decide if the current property is right for you, they have insider knowledge on other properties that might be coming on the market.
While you may not ask every question, here are some prompts to get you started.
Why is the owner selling?
Just this question alone can provide valuable information to help you decide if this is a property to pursue and, if so, how much you’re willing to offer. For example, if the owners are selling because they’ve started a family, the property may not be suitable if you have a family of your own.
In terms of price, if an owner is selling due to a time sensitive reason such as moving overseas, they may be more open to negotiation in order to achieve a quick sale. If however, the owner still lives at the property and is eventually looking to downsize, they may be willing to wait longer until the right offer comes along.
Are the owners accepting private offers before auction? Are they open to negotiation?
Without giving too much away in terms of your own budget, discussing the price with the agent can help you narrow down the range. For buyers looking to avoid auction wherever possible, offering a private offer beforehand can work out in your favour.
Are there any special levies currently outstanding or being raised in the near future by body corporate?
For those looking at apartments or units, it’s a good idea to determine if there are any special levies that will fall to you to pay or suggest there is an ongoing issue or significant defect with the building. Some special levies are split up into multiple payments that will extend past settlement, so it’s important to take these into consideration when determining your budget.
Has the seller completed renovations or modifications?
While renovations can completely transform a property for the better, if done poorly it could end up costing you. If there have been any modifications, it’s important to ensure that they have been completed to a high standard and they had permission by council if required.
Are there any building inspection reports available?
If not, it’s worth organising an inspection of your own. The agent can help you with this process and can provide access to the inspector at a time that works for all parties.
Do you have similar listings?
Letting the agent know what you like or don’t like about this property and asking about similar listings will ensure you have another pair of eyes helping you find the right home for you. In some instances, they’ll give you a call before a property’s first inspection to give you an inside scoop.
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