If you’re wondering what questions to ask when viewing a house, remember to keep in mind that estate agents aren’t legally bound to answer every question, but they do often hint! Any juicy information from them could land you the keys or save you from making a very expensive mistake, so ask away.
Tip: Being armed with a notepad and pen will ensure that you don’t miss any important details. Our house viewing checklist will help you understand what to look for when buying a new property.
Here are six key questions to ask if you’re attending a house viewing:
1. Why is the owner selling?
The estate agent doesn’t have to answer this one, but you might be lucky enough to find out why the owner is selling. For example, their career could be taking them abroad, so they might accept a lower price for a quick sale.
2. How long has the property been on the market?
If it’s been on the market for longer than three months, there’s probably a good reason for it. Ask the estate agent why they think it’s not selling; it may just be overpriced. If it’s been on the market for a long time then the seller is more likely to accept a lower offer.
Tip: If it’s on Zoopla, you can see the listing history to see any price reductions and how long it’s been on the market.
3. How long did the previous owners live here?
If they’re moving out after a short while, it’s in your best interest to find out why. Similarly, if the property has changed hands a few times, make further enquiries and be prepared to strike the property off your shortlist.
4. What’s the minimum price the seller will accept?
This question could potentially save you thousands, but you won’t know if you don’t ask. Estate agents will often give you an indication of whether the vendor’s bottom line is negotiable because it’s in their interest to make a sale, even if it’s at a lower price.
5. When do the sellers have to move out?
If the sellers have already found a new property, they may be keen for a quick sale. Otherwise, you may have to wait until they find somewhere else, this is usually the case but does add uncertainty to the whole process, especially with all the risks associated with being in a chain.
6. What’s included in the sale?
It’s worth asking what the seller may be willing to leave behind when they move to a new property. For example, if there’s a garden shed then the likelihood is that the seller won’t be taking that with them, but it’s best to double-check this before making a concrete offer. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
Final tip: Always view properties at least twice before making any offers, it can help to avoid any nasty surprises later on!