Selling or buying a property, whether it is your home or an investment property, likely involves one of the biggest assets you will own. A real estate agent can be your best guide and partner throughout this major transaction, advising you on market, legal matters, and other issues.
They can guide you on a fair price for your property and you are aware of all the vital facts so you make informed decisions. Being proactive about what you need to know as a buyer or seller is also important. So what are the questions you should be asking your real estate agent before you buy or sell property? We list the essential questions to ask below.
Buying a property
If you are the buyer, you will want to ask questions to find out more about the seller’s details, the location, the property, and other considerations.
1. The owner and reason for selling
Finding out as much as you can about the vendors could help you during the bargaining process. For example, if they have already bought a new house and are in a hurry to sell, you might be able to offer a lower price. Whether it’s downsizing, a divorce or another reason, understanding their motivations will assist you as the buyer.
2. Details about the location
Your Real Estate Agent probably can provide a wealth of information and insights about the location. They can help you compare streets or other factors, giving you a fair assessment on whether paying a certain price for a street or a given location within a suburb is reasonable.
3. Check out the Neighbours
Friendly neighbours can make a lot of difference to your quality of life in your new home and the general ambiance of the area you are going to live in. You might also be looking for a neighbourhood that aligns with your lifestyle. A few visits at different times of day can help you find out more about the neighbourhood, but your agent can also give you useful information about this.
4. Renovations and improvements
Renovations give you a better basis for working out the correct price of the property. If renovations have been carried out recently, you will need to factor this into the current market price when comparing it with how much the property was last sold for. Additionally, you will want to ensure the work was performed to a high standard.
5. Compare with other properties in the area
This question lets you find out whether comparable properties in the same location might be in demand and the kind of price you might expect. It can tell you if the seller’s asking price is realistic and help you make a fair offer for the property.
Selling a property
If you are selling, asking questions will help you get a sense of how the agent will handle your sale, how your property should be sold, and the costs of selling.
1. Drawbacks to your property
This question lets you find out whether the real estate agent has any concerns about your property. If the agent raises what seem to be legitimate issues about your property, they are likely being honest with you and will not brush aside considerations just to get you to sign a contract.
2. Selling Costs
Get the agent to explain the different costs to selling a property, so you are not faced with “hidden” costs you were not aware of. This will include legal costs and taxes. You also need to consider commission. You are paying the agent for their industry expertise and contacts to achieve the best possible price for your sale, so find out about the agent’s selling costs from the start.
3. Method of Selling
Ask the real estate agent their opinion on selling by private treaty, or some other option. Each selling method will have its advantages and possible drawbacks depending on market conditions, the location, and other factors. Your agent’s answer can give you useful information as well as reveal their knowledge of the area.
4. Marketing your property
Your real estate agent should have a comprehensive marketing plan with Internet, social media, signboard, local marketing, and newspaper advertising to promote your property. Other elements could include professional photography, copywriting, real estate portals, styling your home to sell for your property. The right approach with a combination of elements can ensure your home obtains maximum exposure and the best possible price.
Whether you are buying or selling a home or investment property, asking your real estate agent the right questions gives you a good idea of the agent’s approach and knowledge. It can also provide you with useful information about the property and the local market