10 Key Questions to Ask an Estate Agent

So you have arranged a viewing and are about to meet the agent at the property, remember there is a lot to take in so perhaps spend a little time before you go to a viewing to get some questions ready. Why do you need to do this? That’s easy, most people go to a viewing and get so taken in by the property they tend to come away thinking ‘I wish I had asked this or that’ and always regret not preparing properly, so here we will attempt to give you a list of questions that you can, and in some cases should, ask.

Before I start to write the list, there is one key point to remind you of, and that is estate agents are legally bound to tell the truth, so ask away!

1. Why is the owner selling?

This is a valid question and one where the answer may sway you one way or the other. At this point, the agent is not obliged to tell you as it is personal to the sellers but if you are lucky they may let slip. You could find out that they are moving abroad, or that they are keen to sell as they have found somewhere they want to move to in a hurry, all this will help you frame a bid for the property should you like it.

2. What is included in the sale?

Ask about curtains and carpets, check whether garden buildings, greenhouses or sheds are included. Generally, ask what part of the contents are included, some people will take many things when they move, and to a degree that you would be surprised. Check where the boundaries are on the property as well, again these are perfectly
acceptable questions and ones the agent should have an answer to.

3. How long have the owners lived there?

You may find that the owners have not been there long, and if that is the case then it is important to find out why that is, as there could be some underlying problems with the property or external factors such as location, that you need to know about.

4. What’s the history of the house?

This is again a perfectly good question to ask. If the sellers haven’t lived there for long, how long have the previous owners lived there? Again if there is a history of this house changing hands regularly there may be a problem with the property, maybe noisy neighbours, or other issues that are not obvious.

5. Is there something that you would like to know if you were buying this house?

Ask this to the agent. If you were buying this property what would you like to know about it? This will put an agent on the spot and will require them to give a straightforward answer. It may be that they say nothing, but they could say something that you may not have asked that will help you decide early on if this property is for you, saving time for both you and the sellers.

6. How did you get to the value of the property?

Ask them how they got to the value, are there properties sold nearby that are similar that have guided the valuation.

7. Would the property owners be open to offers?

Don’t be afraid to ask this question. It’s your money, and it’s up to the sellers to decide if they want to accept an offer or not.

8. When does the seller want to move out?

If the seller is looking to delay their moving out date then that may influence whether or not you will be able to buy the property. It may be that they wish to move on quickly, but due to
circumstances you may be unable to do that.

9. Have there been any offers so far on the property?

Find out the lay of the land. See if there has been interest in the property, are there any offers? The agent will not necessarily tell you where the offers are but can tell you that there are
interested parties that are about to offer, or even that there are offers on the table. They are not obliged to tell you the figures though.

10. Have any major works extensions been undertaken?

Has the property been extended, and have all of the necessary permissions been gained?

The list above is just there as a guide, and there are plenty more questions that can also be asked, but remember that it is a very good idea to list these before you visit. A little time spent getting this list together will save you lots of time later on and will help you formulate a decision quicker, possibly helping you make an early offer and therefore beating the competition.

For more information or if you would like to sell your home for as little as £834, contact our SmartSell™ team today and we can get your home on all of the major property portals within just 48 hours.

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