By Alexandra Nakhoul, SFPG
27 April 2017
You’ve found your dream home after months of searching. You attend the first open inspection, only to discover that it is crawling with your fellow prospective buyers…
How do you set yourself apart from the crowd? What are the questions you should be asking to show you’re genuinely interested? Here are the top questions a savvy buyer should ask an agent when attending an open inspection…
1. Why is the vendor selling?
The more informed you are as a buyer, the greater your ability to make an educated decision about pursuing the property. A homeowner may have many reasons to sell, but you want to ascertain these reasons aren’t based too heavily on the property itself. The more you know about the vendor’s mindset, the greater chance you have of making a winning offer.
2. Why is the price what it is? Do you have a recent comparable sales report?
This will give you a rough idea of how the price guide came to be. A Comparable Sales Report will clarify, and hopefully eliminate, the question marks you may have in regard to what the reasonable person should pay. It may also help you justify those painful, but necessary, mortgage repayments! The agent’s ability to deliver on this request will give you an idea of the degree of ease (or difficulty!) this process may be. Nobody likes an unorganised agent!
3. How long has the property been on the market?
This question is a frontrunner come negotiation time. It puts in perspective the degree of urgency a vendor might have to sell. Scouting a property that has been on the market for months on end works in your favour when it comes to negotiating. The longer a property has been on the market, the more desperate the vendor is sell, and the greater the advantage you have when negotiating a price!
4. Are there any offers on the property?
Having knowledge on whether any offers have been made on the property gives you a clear indication if the home is reasonably priced for the quality it boasts and the lifestyle it offers. It also influences your decision to make an offer and at what stage in the marketing campaign to do so. Keep in mind the possibility of receiving several offers will push up the price of the property.
5. Are there any surrounding amenities and infrastructure?
The response to this question may be the make or break of your decision as a buyer, depending on what complements your lifestyle. If you’re a religious user of public transport, or have a young family, it may be important that you’re in close proximity to public transport hubs, childcares and schools.
6. Are there any known issues with the property?
It is important that you are made fully aware of any structural issues, faults and defects in the property. During the open inspection, be on the look out for subtle (but expensive) faults and flaws like mould, any sign of termites and any faults in tiling finishes. Not only will this potentially cost you large sums of money in the future, but it also helps determine the price versus value component of purchasing property.
7. For apartments and units: Is there a strata report for the property?
A Strata Report provides precise details and matters of compliance within the building or complex. If you’re attending an open inspection of an apartment or unit, it is essential that you are aware and take into account matters such as quarterly strata levies for the property, building defects or home owner warranty claims for defects and if animals are permitted.
8. Are there currently similar properties for sale on the market?
This asserts your position as a genuine buyer who is serious about pursuing ‘The’ property. It also a valuable way of developing a lasting relationship with the agent, and may even score you a home more suited to your preferences and lifestyle.
9. Will the owner consider selling prior to auction?
Although many properties are advertised to go to Auction, many of them are sold before the Auction date. Always make sure to ask if the owner is willing to sell prior to Auction. If they are, it is best to make an offer based on the information you have gathered on the property and the owner through all the previous questions you have asked.
Think of these questions as the soil of negotiations. They set the foundation and the relationship required to secure the purchase of your new home.
For advice on selling your property, please contact André at firstname.lastname@example.org or on mobile 0412 615 985.