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Key questions to ask when buying or selling a property

It’s worth getting prepared and coming up with a list of questions before you do any viewings to make sure you find out everything you need to.

If you’re viewing several properties it’s helpful to make notes, and this will also help you compare them more effectively.

How long has it been on the market?
A property that has been on the market for longer than 3-4 months may be overpriced, or there may be issues that other people have seen. It’s important to try and find out why it hasn’t sold – as it maybe that there’s no specific reason, and this could put you in a better negotiating position.

What’s included in the asking price?
Check what the seller is planning on including such as carpets, curtains, wardrobes, light fittings, garden sheds and furniture – as this will affect your budget. It’s also worth checking where the property’s boundary lies so you have a clear understanding of what belongs to the property and what belongs to any neighbours.

When does the owner need to move out?
It’s important to know this as if you’re in a real hurry to move, and they’re not, this could rule the property out. Or vice versa, if they need a quick sale and you’re not proceedable, they may reject your offer. 

Why is the owner selling?
It’s always useful to ask, as it might give you some clues as to how strong your negotiating position is. If they need a quick sale for personal reasons, you may be able to get a better deal on the property. It’s also worth asking how long they have lived there – if it’s only been a short time then ask what their reason is for moving and consider doing a little more research into the local area and the neighbours. 

What are the neighbours like?
It’s useful to try and get a feel for the neighbours and if you ask the seller if they have noisy neighbours they are legally obliged to tell you if they have lodged any complaints against their them.

Are there plans for the local area?
This question is particularly important where there’s open space or fields around the property – it’s worth asking if the vendor is aware of any planning applications in the immediate area, rather than waiting until you get the results of the local searches, weeks or months down the line.


Additional research you can do when looking to buy a property

The local area
Try websites such as which provide information by postcode on housing, crime and employment. If you want to know more about local schools you can find the latest Ofsted inspection reports at

Price research
If you want to find out what the property last sold for and when, have a look on It’s also worth checking out what price other properties in the area are being marketed for on

Recent renovations
If the property you’re interested in has had any renovation work recently, have a look on the local planning authority website for the planning application to reassure you the work has been carried out properly. Your conveyancing solicitor will check and verify the planning consents for you too, as part of their due diligence.


Questions to ask estate agents

When choosing the right estate agent for you, try asking some of the questions below:

How will you market my property? 
Find out exactly how they will try and sell your home – will they just list your property on their own website? Or will they try lots of other ideas such as property portals, using their own database, social media, print advertising, door drops…

How successful are you?
Find out how many homes have they sold in your area at a similar price. Ask them the average length of time a property is on the market with them, how many viewings they would expect to get,  what’s a realistic asking and sales price?

How much will you charge?
Remember that you get what you pay for and agents who offer cheaper fees won’t necessarily get the quality and quantity of prospective viewers through your door, meaning that you may not achieve the sales figure you were hoping for. You also won’t necessarily get the customer service that you deserve. You are potentially selling your biggest asset so you want to ensure that your estate agent can offer you quality customer service 7 days a week. Visit  to see smarthomes excellent customer service reviews.

Click here to find out why you should make the smart choice and use smarthomes to sell your property:

If you need any advice on buying, selling, or renting a property, please get in touch with us on 0121 744 4144.