Auctioneer Jackie White is giving advice this week to a couple as they look to buy their first home
My partner & I are looking to buy our first home. What questions should we ask the agent?
Congratulations, buying your first home is such a special and exciting time. You are going to look at lots of different properties, some will be perfect and others will need some work. As for the questions, here are some of the essential ones.
How long has the property been on the market? Are the current offers?
If a property has been on the market for a while, it leaves you room to negotiate. However, it is also worth considering why the property hasn't already been sold! Ask about any current or previous bidders, to get an understanding of the level of interest.
Why are the current owners selling?
Property can go on the market for different reasons. It could be downsizing, moving jobs or a probate sale. Ask the agent do they know the reason for the property sale?
When was the property constructed?
Older property could have a list of things that need to be repaired or updated. Leaving you with potentially large bills to pay.
Are there any management fees?
It is important to know the management fees associated with a property, are they up to date and how often they are paid. Ask what exactly is covered.
Is there any planning permission on the property?
Planning permission on a property can increase its value and offer room to expand. Ask to see any plans, as they should have them on file. It's important to consider the costs associated with building, an extension for example, and that you budget accordingly.
What exact area/land comes with the purchase?
Know exactly what you are buying. Ask the agent to confirm precisely what is included in the purchase. The day you buy is the day you sell.
Are there contents are included?
Ask for the list of contents included with the sale, the things that you think are permanent fixtures could well be removed by the current owner. Replacing these items will affect your budget.
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