Every home owner dreads finding out they bought a ‘lemon’ of a property – but with a few simple enquiries you can find your way to a quality home in an excellent area. Whether you’re searching for your first home or your next investment property in Sydney, here are nine of the most important questions you should be asking your real estate agent before purchasing a property.
- Why are the owners selling the home?
If you’re buying an existing property, the owner might be selling for a reason that may not be immediately obvious such as noise, traffic or structural concerns – or it may simply be a personal choice to suit their family. Obviously this question won’t be relevant if you’re purchasing a new home.
- What amenities are included?
This is particularly useful to ask if you’re planning to purchase in a strata property, for example new luxury apartments in Sydney. Ask about your access to the swimming pool, gym, any green spaces and the rooftop if applicable, and ask to see these (or their plans) to see if they appeal.
- What will the strata fees be?
Owners within a strata scheme are required to pay a certain amount each quarter or year towards shared costs like building repairs and elevators. It’s wise to ask to see the pre-purchase inspection report to ensure strata fees will be reasonable, that the owners corporation gets along and that strata affairs are taken care of effectively.
- Can I see similar options in the same area and the same building?
This will help you to compare properties to ensure you’re getting a great deal. For example; if you’re planning to buy an apartment in a central location but aren’t sure if a more spacious option might suit you more, don’t be afraid to ask to see other apartments within the same building and area.
- What are your thoughts about this location?
It may seem as though real estate agents will tell buyers anything they want to hear, but in fact most are looking to match you with an area and property that suits your needs. Real estate agents know local areas extremely well, so they can be an invaluable resource when buying your first home.
- Which other areas would you recommend researching?
Once again, your real estate agent can be a wealth of information to compare properties and explore equivalent options. For example, apartments for sale in Sydney CBD, Waterloo, Eastlakes, Green Square and Parramatta can all place you in central locations with excellent city connectivity.
- What are the neighbours like?
Your real estate agent will likely have a clear idea of who lives in the area and what kind of lifestyle you can expect by moving in. Perhaps there are lots of young families around for the quality schools nearby, or maybe it’s the ideal location for social young professionals who live for the weekend.
- Can you show me similar sales from the last few months?
This has a double advantage. By viewing comparable and recent sales you can be confident that your real estate agent is good at matching people to properties, and you’ll also have the chance to assess the true value of the property you’re viewing by seeing prices for similar properties.
- How do I get started?
You’ll be working with your real estate agent, your bank or lending institution and your solicitor or conveyancer to start the process of buying. If you’ve decided this is the perfect property for you, your agent or developer should be able to walk you through the process. You’ll be moving in before you know it!