Unless you happen to be a multi-billionaire, the properties you buy in your lifetime are going to be among the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make. This is hardly surprising, but what’s very surprising is that the average person spends a mere 25 minutes viewing a house before they decide to make an offer! To ensure you avoid any big, expensive disappointments, here are a few essential questions to ask during your next house viewing.
How Long Has This House Been on the Market?
This comes at the top of the list, as it might just be the most important question of all. This is because it gives you a fairly accurate indication of how sought-after the property is. If it’s been on the market for five months or over, you need to make a point of finding out why this is.
Has There Been Much Interest in This Property?
If you fall head over heels in love with a property, there’s no point in making wild guesses at how many people felt the same way as you. Instead, ask how many viewings there have been, and how many offers have been made. With many homes for sale, it can help a lot to arrange a viewing for a typically busy time like Saturday morning. If there are a lot of other people viewing it before and after you, you’ll know it’s not going to be on the market for much longer.
What’s the Local Area Like?
What’s the crime rate like? How do the local schools rank? If you want to be really direct about it, ask the estate agent “would you be happy to live here?”. Just don’t expect them to be 110% honest with their answer, and be prepared to do some research of your own!
Have There Been Any Major Renovations?
Many people will hire a major overhauls or little pieces of work that have been performed recently. Ask about this directly, and make a point to see the evidence in the form of builder’s guarantees and receipts.
How Long Have the Current Owners Been Here?
If the current owners of the home are moving out after a relatively short period of time, you need to find out why. If the property has changed hands on several occasions over a short time, there may be some kind of issues in the neighborhood. Do your best to find out why exactly the previous owners moved.
Have the Current Owners Found their Next Home?
If the answer to this is “yes”, then they probably want to sell as quickly as possible. If not, there could be a long string of uncertainties ahead of you, which can easily cause the sale to fall through. If there’s a shadow of a doubt about the current owners moving out, keep your options open!