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Questions to ask when viewing a property

If you find a property you love, you might get distracted and forget to ask certain questions.

You can of course go back and arrange another viewing, but in today’s highly competitive market it’s a good idea to be prepared on your first viewing and ask everything you want to know. Here are a few useful questions you can ask the vendor and agent on your viewings:

How long has the property been on the market?
It’s worth asking this as if it’s only just come on the market the sellers are unlikely to accept an offer, whereas if it’s been listed for months, you may be able to negotiate on the price. If it has been on the market a long time, try to find out why – it could be that a sale has fallen through, or it could mean there’s a potential issue that other potential purchasers have discovered.

How long have you lived here?
If the sellers have only been in the house a short time, they have may discovered an issue with the area or the property. They may not disclose any problems to you, but you may get a gut feel that something’s not quite right so it’s still worth asking the question. And if they have lived there for years and their home is a really special place to them, they may be more inclined to sell it to people they like, so it’s worth trying to strike up a good relationship with the vendors.

What are the neighbours like?
You might think it’s not worth asking this question as the seller could tell what you want to hear, that they have the best neighbours anyone could wish for! But if they have had any disputes with their neighbours, they are legally obliged to tell you if you ask them.

Why are you moving?
Maybe they’re moving to be closer to family, and their move has nothing to do with the property or the area. But maybe they’re moving to be closer to a better school or public transport – it’s worth understanding their reasons in case this could affect you too in the future.

Have you had any offers?
If you get an idea of the level of interest in the property, you can work out how competitive your offer needs to be.

What’s your position? 
If the seller hasn’t found somewhere to move to, or is in the middle of a large chain, be aware the process could take a long time. If you’re in a rush to move, then a property in this position might not be worth pursuing.

What renovations have been done?
It’s worth checking out any planning permission and builders’ guarantees before you put an offer in. Extensions without the relevant planning consents may have to be knocked down.

What’s included?
Don’t make any assumptions – some people have been known to strip the house and leave nothing, not even the toilet roll holders or light bulbs. But if the seller is leaving all light fittings, carpets, curtains, appliances, garden shed, and play equipment, this could save you a lot of money and you can factor this into your budget.

If you’d like any advice on getting your house ready for sale, need a valuation, or want to know what the local property market is doing, call smarthomes on 0121 744 4144 (option 2).

Check out our property for sale in Solihull and the local area here:

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