10 Questions to ask your real estate agent before investing in a home
Buying a luxury property is a massive investment and sparing yourself future heartache and financial loss entails doing some research. If you have spotted a real estate agency with which you wish to partner, knowing what to ask is imperative. Below are 10 questions that will assist you with learning more about your chosen real estate agency and the home you are looking to buy.
- “What sets this agency apart?”
Not all real estate agencies have the same level of experience, expertise, or specialisation. Ask a real estate agent or member of their team what sets them apart in the industry, what kind of services you can expect, and the benefits of partnering with them when buying a home.
- “What is included in the home?”
Never assume that paying for the property means you will also get all those added fixtures and fittings. Items like water features in the garden, appliances such as stoves, or things like security systems, light fixtures, and curtain railings might all relocate with the owners.
- “Why is the owner selling?”
Sellers who are desperate to relocate or who need money urgently may settle for a lower offer. If they are moving due to issues with the home or neighbourhood, it may be a good reason to stay away from the property.
- “How long have the current owners lived there?”
It’s a good sign if a property has been lived in a long time – it indicates that the home and location are comfortable. Be careful of properties that have had lots of sellers, however, as it may be due to hidden issues.
- “What are the benefits of moving to the area?”
Ask the real estate agent about amenities featured in the area, such as good schools, medical facilities, easy access to main roads, malls and retail spots, and places for recreational activities. Not only do these factors increase the value of a home, but it makes living there more enjoyable too.
- “Is there anything to keep in mind about the area?”
You can also ask your agent about any drawbacks of the neighbourhood. This can include crime rates, constant power failures, developments planned nearby, noise levels, and traffic in the area. No location is perfect, but some issues are more tolerable than others.
- “When are the sellers planning to move?”
This is essential as it can also tell you how motivated the sellers are. If the owners must relocate soon, this may work to your advantage when proposing an offer.
- “How was the asking price determined?”
Professional real estate agencies know how to value a property accurately and will be able to list their justifications for the asking price. To help you make an informed decision, they will arm you with statistics, data on market trends in the area, and a better idea of what similar properties in the area have sold for recently.
- “Were any renovations done on the property recently and why?”
Some renovations give buyers a better impression, such as a fresh coat of paint. Other renovations are undertaken to mask certain issues, like faulty plumbing and electrical wiring. You also want to ensure that any renovations on the property are approved within council regulations.
- “What kind of maintenance will the property require?”
Future maintenance of the property comes out of your pocket, so it is fair to ask about aspects like average monthly utility bills, when last the geyser was serviced or replaced, and how old the infrastructure on the property is.
When partnering with Fine & Country South Africa, we will pair you with homes that accommodate your needs and preferences. With us, you are assisted every step of the way, from seeking real estate for sale to signing that dotted line. For more information, contact us here.