The Top Question to Ask on a First Viewing
Many prospective buyers turn up unprepared to viewings which could cause important details or information to be missed. Below is a handy list of questions you should ask when viewing a property for the first time and if the estate agent does not know, do ask them to find out for you and allow them to get back in touch.
1. How long has it been on the market?
If a property has been on the market for a while, don’t be afraid to ask the question why? It could flag up underlying problems or it could be something simple as a previous sale has fallen through. This information is important to help you in your decision.
2. When is the seller moving out and is it part of a chain?
Chains do not always mean there will be a problem. It is handy to know how long you will have before the property is ready to move into so you can make the appropriate plans with your own property, belongings, schools etc.
3. Which was does the property face?
Depending how high up on your key criteria a sunny garden is, will decide how important this question is to you. If a sunny garden is crucial, so you can be entertaining all night long with maximum sunlight, then this is something to consider. It is also important to see if there are any surrounding buildings, trees, outhouses etc that could be hindering your future gardens potential. Do not forget about the outside space!
4. Is the property listed? And what grade is it?
Listed properties do have their perks with beautiful original features and attractive curb appeal. However, if the property needs repairs or improvements you may want to rethink as this could cost you a lot of time and money. It could take around eight weeks when applying to the Listed Building Consent and even after this time, the plans may be rejected and need altering.
5. What are the neighbours like?
As mentioned before, spending time outside your property is so important to get a feel for the property, the area and more importantly what the neighbours are like. A troublesome or noisy neighbour can turn your dream home into a living nightmare. It is a legal requirement for the seller to disclose neighbour disputes and this will flag up in the conveyancing process.
6. What is the surrounding area like?
What are the schools, transport links, amenities like? Is the area safe, what are the crime statistics? These are all great questions to ask or research before your viewing as they can help you determine if an area is suitable for you. A drive-by is always helpful before your viewing, especially at a different time of day, to get a flavour of the area, light and traffic e.g. in rush hour.
7. How much does the property cost to run?
The council tax band and Energy Performance Certificate EPC rating of a property is information the Agent should know on the viewing. It is also useful to find out if the property is leasehold and if so, how much are the annual/monthly costs. This information, on top of utility costs, is information you need to know so you can budget properly and see if the property is financially viable for you.
8. Is the seller open to offers?
There is no harm in asking the Agent if the vendors would be open to offers, especially if it has been on the market for some time. Unless they specifically say no, it is worth a try putting in a lower offer. Do not go 25% below the asking price as the seller may not take your offer seriously.
Finally, if you do forget any of the above just give the Estate Agents a call.
Here at Team Tempo we are always happy to help.
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