Key Questions to Ask When Buying a Home

A selection of popular questions that prospective buyers ask when looking at a property

A lot of preparation is required when purchasing a property, so it’s important for prospective buyers to thoroughly research any house they are interested in. One of the best ways of doing this is to ask lots of questions, either directly to the sellers, or the estate agent.

Here we’ve compiled a list of some of the most important questions you should consider asking before deciding whether to buy a property or not. 

How long has the property been on the market? 

If a property has been on the market for a long time, some people may consider this to be a red flag, but this assumption shouldn’t be reached without further investigation.

If you are interested in the property but it has been on the market for a long time, you should try and find out why it hasn’t been sold up until now. 

Why is the property for sale?

Finding out why the owners are deciding to sell the property can seem like an invasive topic area, but actually, it can be key information when it comes to deciding whether to buy a property or not. Gaining insight into why the sellers are deciding to move can give you a better position when negotiating, as you’ll know whether they are in a rush to sell or have a better incline as to whether they will accept a lower offer. 

What is the surrounding area like? 

External photo of Newcastle terraced house

It’s important to find out as much information about the surrounding area as possible, as it could potentially be your new neighbourhood. Noise levels, available parking, nearby schools and traffic congestion are examples of some key things you might want to know more about. 

The estate agent may not have all the answers to this question, so an additional approach to take could be to visit the property at different times of the day and become increasingly familiar with surrounding area before you decide to put in an offer.

What are the running costs of the property?

You’ll need to find out the running costs of the property to be able to budget efficiently, as it may affect your purchasing decision. It’s worth asking which council tax band the property is in, how much utilities are, and other general costs. All these additional costs can add up, so you’ll need to ensure the running costs of the property work within your budget. 

Would the owners consider any offers? 

It’s definitely worth questioning whether the seller would consider any offers under the asking price. There are many factors that can affect whether a seller is willing to or not, but you should always ask the estate agent whether this would be a possibility, as you may just be able to strike a better deal. 

How has the property value changed over the years? 

You may not need to ask this question directly, as the information can be found on the Land Registry website. It is however beneficial to get an idea of how the value of the property has changed, especially in the past few years. If there has been a significant drop in value, it could be worth investigating why. 

Has the property repeatedly changed hands? 

If the property has continuously changed hands over the years, this could be considered as red flag and be indicative some problems with the property. Once again though, this assumption shouldn’t be reached automatically without further investigation.

Have any major renovations taken place? 

If any major construction work has been undertaken on the property, it is recommended that you look at the relevant planning permission and building consent to ensure the construction was completed legally.

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Estate agent answering questions