Once you have decided to take that first step towards buying a property, you need to have enough knowledge to go through with the purchase. Without it, you will not be able to decide whether it is right for you or not.
As a home buyer or investor, you need to protect yourself against unwanted buyer’s remorse by asking the right questions and getting relevant answers before you sign those dotted lines.
Here are questions you need to ask your sales agent and why you need to ask them.
- Can you provide me with a recent property sales report?
WHY ASK: For you to find out what the house is worth. Many buyers don’t think to ask, but this is actually one of the most important questions to get an answer to. It is important to ask the agent why they believe the house is worth the price they are selling it for.
A recent sales report of similar properties together with the final price they were sold for will help justify their asking price and give you peace of mind knowing you are not being overcharged.
- What is the vendor’s reason for selling the property?
WHY ASK: So you can negotiate the price. The answer to this question may help you save lots of money. For instance, if the seller has already bought another property, they may be more motivated to sell. On the other hand, vendors who are still on the lookout for a new property and haven’t bought one yet might want a longer settlement period.
- How long has the property been up for sale?
WHY ASK: Properties that have been in the market for over six weeks raise red flags. Assume it is incorrectly priced or that there is an issue with it.
Correctly-priced properties, particularly in the Sydney and Melbourne markets, should be selling within six weeks.
- Are there any issues (previous or existing) related to the property, the land, or the neighbourhood?
WHY ASK: Any issue you may have missed during inspection may affect the value of the property. Also, asking this question will help you identify issues that could possibly make you change your mind about the purchase.
Note that you must ask this question AFTER you have done independent research. Do not just rely on what the agent tells you.
And here are questions you need to ask yourself.
- Why do I want to buy this property?
This is the first and the simplest question you need to ask yourself before buying a property. If you are not able to answer it, then it’s clear it’s not time to buy.
Think about whether it will be an investment or it will be your home. Price is everything when it comes to investments, but in terms of living in the home yourself, price should only be secondary to the features, location, and your personal preferences.
- Is the price within my budget?
This may sound like an obvious question, but you might be surprised at how many people don’t actually bother to ask themselves this one.
Buying a house is not like buying an article of clothing; it is an expensive and time-consuming process. What’s more, it can become even more costly if you end up not being able to handle the repayments and become forced to sell only a few months later.
Get a better understanding of your financial position before taking the plunge. Getting approved for a loan is the easy part, working towards repaying and maintaining your old lifestyle is not.
- Am I satisfied with the property and its location?
Do not let your excitement over buying a property cloud your judgment and make you settle for anything less than what you truly want. The location and the property itself should meet your standards, and if they don’t, you can always wait and put off the purchase until you find one that does.
In the end, you need to make sure the house is right for you and not the house that is right now. Consider your decision and reconsider if you have to before you sign anything and seal the deal.