Essential questions for buyers to ask their estate agents

While an estate agent typically represents a seller in any residential property transaction, they also act as a liaison between the buyer and seller and work closely with buyers to find them a suitable property and navigate the finance process among other services.

Debbie Justus-Ferns, divisional manager of Renprop Residential Sales, says that it is just as important for buyers to have a good working relationship with their agent as it is for sellers. “Buyers need to be able to trust the estate agent they work with and be confident that they will get good, knowledgeable and professional insight into the areas and particular properties they are looking at purchasing, as well as general solid advice around the property investment.”

But, Justus-Ferns points out that in order to get the best information from an estate agent, buyers also need to ask the right kind of questions. She has put together a master list of questions buyers should ask the estate agent they are looking to work with to establish a good flow of communication and create realistic expectations:

About the timing

1.    Do you have a current fidelity fund certificate to operate as an estate agent?

2.     How long have you worked in the areas I am interested in purchasing in?

About the buying boundaries & timing

1.    How much can I purchase for?

2.    How long does it take to register a property?

3.    What is the transfer process?   

4.    Which properties offer the best value?
About the area(s)

1.    What are the best areas in which to purchase?

2.    What are the areas that offer the best return?

3.    In which areas have you seen the property values rise above other areas

4.    What is crime like in these areas?

5.    What is the traffic like in this area?

6.    Which schools would you recommend?

7.    Are there any land claims in the area?

About the property

1.    What are the transfer costs?

2.    How long has the property been listed on the market?

3.    What was the original listing price of the property?

4.    Why is the owner selling?

5.    How old is the property?

6.    What is the size of the property building?

7.    What is size of the land?

8.    Is there dedicated parking for my unit?

9.    Are there approved building plans for this property?

10.  Are there any defects in the property that I am to be made aware of?

11.  Are the municipal rates up to date?

12.  What are the monthly costs of the rates, water, electricity, sewerage, and refuse removal?

13.  Is the body corporate financially solvent?

14.  Will the seller repair any of the patent defects that are visible?

15.  What are the rules of the body corporate/home owners association?

16.  Does the property have security measures in place and is it linked to an armed response company?

In conclusion Justus-Ferns notes that the more prepared buyers are for the process and costs involved with buying a property, as well as specific details of the area they are interested in and property they are looking at buying, the less chance of buyer’s remorse or nasty surprises and the higher the chance of finding a property that is a perfect fit.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Apr 2018
      Whenever changes in the political ecosystem of a traditional property market create uncertainty, smart investors begin to look elsewhere for new opportunities. Property experts at IP Global have analysed the trends and crunched the numbers to find new markets to explore in Europe and the United States.
    • 20 Apr 2018
      Energy and water self-sufficiency are increasingly important factors in home buyers’ choice of property – especially in Cape Town where the extreme drought of the past few years has made municipal supply costly as well as uncertain.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      During the last decade, rampant development has progressively transformed Cape Town’s property landscape with densification being the order of the day, but there are still one or two hidden gems like Scarborough which have retained their original character, offering an inimitable lifestyle and an attractive investment opportunity.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      The rental market is a cut-throat sector of the real estate market that waits for nobody. According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, first-time renters need to be fully prepared before they even start the process of looking for a place to rent in order to avoid the disappointment of losing out on their ideal property.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      Choosing to buy your first home instead of continuing to rent is a big decision that will usually take some time to put into action, but the sooner you can save up a sizeable deposit, the closer you will be to reaching your goal.
    • 18 Apr 2018
      Selling your home is no small task and as you will quickly find out, there are a lot of misconceptions about the process. Gerhard van der Linde, Seeff's MD in Pretoria East lists the top 5 misconceptions when you are selling your home.
    • 18 Apr 2018
      The Cape Town municipality is now installing water-management devices at properties that have been non-compliant with the new level 5 water restrictions and there are talks of fines between R5,000 and R10,000 for households that use too much water.
    • 17 Apr 2018
      The recent interest rate cut has stoked the coals in the first-time buyer’s market. At least for the next two months until the next interest rate announcement, homeowners are guaranteed lower monthly instalments than in the previous quarter. But, is it wise to take out a 100% bond just to enter the property market while interest rates are low?
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us