It is essential that you make the most of a property viewing to ensure that you are as informed as you possibly can be when it comes to making an offer on a home. The best way to learn about the condition of the house is to ask questions. Buying a house is a serious step, and you want to make sure that no mysteries are left unattended.
The first question to ask is why the house is up for sale. According to the national statistic reports people move about 12 times in their lifetime. The reasons vary – they need a larger home or a house that better fits their needs, or they might have a preference for a different neighbourhood; financial reasons for moving include wanting a nicer home, moving to a newer home to avoid making repairs on the old one, or cashing in on existing equity; personal reasons – recently divorced, widowed, or retired might move to a new location; relocation for a new job or to be closer to family, or you might simply want a new house to fix up and flip.
Some sellers look for a quick sell so they can enter their new property adventure as soon as possible. Getting an answer can give you a hint about whether the owners will be willing to accept a lower price.
Talking to the next door neighbour or a local shop assistant can help find out if there are some big negative factors that others know about but haven’t disclosed in the house description. It might be the reason why the owner is desperate to sell the house. Knowing about these factors can give you a very favourable price, if you are up to a challenge of fixing them, of course.
Another reason which could potentially bring the final price down is the length of the property being on the market. It is a disadvantage for a seller to have the house on the market for more than three months. A stagnant property become less desirable. The longer it is on the market, the likely the seller will reduce the price. There are a number of ways to find out how long a property has been on the market. Check such sites as Rightmove, Zoopla or similar, or just chat with your agent. They should be able to give you an honest answer and advise if there are any serious issues with the house or it is just overpriced.
It is worth checking the properties which have gone off the market. The decision to take a house off the market can be made because of various reasons. Many of them do not get sold at the time of the listing. There is a strong possibility that these houses will be back on the market sooner than you think, and the price will be in your favour. Alternatively a home off market can be a brand new property with the sellers just thinking about moving, and you can secure first viewings without much competition meaning the process can be a lot less stressful.
Do not be shy to take a critical look at the property and ask if there is damp that needs sorting. Or there any outstanding repairs that obviously need fixing. Or maybe the walls need freshening up, or guttering cleaned. Some owners might think these are not big issues and, as they are moving out, it is not their responsibility to fix these things. By clarifying these things you may either negotiate the price down and do the repairs yourself, or get them done and can save you money in the long run when you move into your new home.
It is always good to know how long the owners lived in the house before they moved out. It is alarming when the property repeatedly changed hands. Finding out the reason may give you a reason to negotiate the price down, or may be even change your mind to buy this house.
And finally, do you know what exactly included in the sale? If not, it is time to get curious and find out where exactly the boundary lies. Find out if the fixtures and fittings, white appliances and fitted wardrobes are included. Do not forget about the garden. Are there any furniture or potted plants? Find out if the owner is taking or leaving them.
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