The number of physical viewings is now rising because of eased lockdown restrictions. As many of you are excited to resume your plans to get out there and buy your dream homes, the team at Houso would like to help! Today, we will offer you some advice regarding the crucial questions every buyer should be asking when viewing a property. Do not be that person that wishes you had asked certain questions before going for a purchase!
The most important question is, ‘Why are you looking to sell the house?’. The seller’s answer will immediately display how motivated and quickly they want to sell, or if they have only put the home on the market to see what kind of interest it gets. If the seller is looking for a quick sale, you could even try your luck and offer a lower price. Nevertheless, if they are looking for a quick sale, alarm bells can also be raised. Are they trying to escape problems, for example, bad neighbours? Here lies question two, ‘Who are the neighbours?’. Find out more about your potential new neighbours. You may or may not mind if your neighbours will be sociable, however, nobody likes a noisy neighbour. If you are feeling confident, knock on the neighbour’s door and introduce yourself. When speaking to either the seller or the neighbours, you may ask ‘Does this area have any issues?’. You might get a more honest answer from neighbours as they aren’t after money! Ask questions that related to your personal concerns. For example, if you drive, you may be more worried about crime rates than an inconsistent bus service.
‘How long has the house been on the market?’, would have perhaps been a more important question to ask before COVID-19. In today’s market, try not to be put off if a home has been on the market for a few months. This doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with it, it’s just that life has been put on hold during 2020. However, a very important question is, ‘Have you done any major building work on the home?’. We recommend that you obtain a full structural survey on a home that you are thinking about buying. In addition to the survey, you should ask questions about whether the home has been extended or if there is any potential to extend the home any further. If the home does not come with a driveway or garage, make sure to ask, ‘Where do you park your car/cars?’. You need to find out where the closest available parking is, you don’t want to be walking fifteen minutes to your car every morning and evening!
Do not be afraid to ask, ‘How much are your bills?’. In the scenario of home buying, this is no longer an intrusive, personal question. You need to know the costs involved as you are potentially moving into the seller’s home. Find out the council tax for the area and also look at the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), available on the property listing, to find out how energy efficient the house is. An EPC also gives a potential rating which demonstrates whether the energy efficiency could be improved with a few amendments. A final question you may ask is, ‘What’s included in the sale?’. Get as much information as you can here. For example, will any white goods, such as a dishwasher or washing machine, be included in the price? Having these white goods already in the house will make the move a lot less hassle, and one less thing to think about. It may also save you some money! If you already have these staple items, you may even stand to make some money by selling what you have left.