Purchasing a property is an exciting time and can remain that way provided there are no surprises when moving time arrives. One of the ways to ensure that this does not happen is to make sure your agent talks to the seller of the home you are interested in and gain their insights into the finer details of the home.
Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate says, “The purchase of a property is seen as a huge commitment and a decision to purchase would be something you would come to once you know the property checks all of the boxes. One way for you to check boxes would be for your agent to speak to the seller of the property and ask him or her the following questions.”
1. Why the decision to move?
This could possibly be seen as a very tricky question to ask, but the answer is paramount to a successful sale. As the prospective owner of the home, it would be imperative for you to know if there were any specific reasons the owner wishes to move in the first place. Could it be that they had found something better? With a better price? Is it due to environmental factors? Had the home become too small or even too spacious for the family living there? Once you have established the why, it will help to guide your choice to move to this home.
2. How long has the home been on the market?
This will be one of the first things your agent asks the home seller. The ways in which they answer this question may indicate more to you than what you had expected. Properties that remain on the market for a long time could be a direct indicator that the property is incorrectly priced. In this instance, your agent has the ideal opportunity to also speak to the seller about reconsidering their selling price and further negotiate on your behalf.
3. What are some of the best features of the home?
No one would be able to give your agent better insight than someone who has physically lived in the home through at least one cycle of each of the four seasons. Ask your agent to speak to the seller and ask them what some of the property’s best and shining features are. Be it the select rooms in the home that are fortunate to be cool in the summer and warmer in the winter or perhaps it is the great patch of sunlight shining through the home for early morning breakfasts. Maybe it’s the fruit-bearing trees and fertile ground for an avid gardener or perhaps the home is an older build and has spacious, large rooms with potential for expansion. The seller will be able to enlighten the agent on all the secret perks that the home has to offer.
4. Are there any approved plans for the property?
Getting plans approved need not be a major headache. For someone who would have lived on a property before, they may have put plans in place to expand and just never have acted on them. Chances are, the seller will allow you to take over those plans without incurring any extra fees. Once this happens, you may be able to start the expansion process sooner rather than later without any additional red tape.
5. What is the neighbourhood and environment like?
A lot of the time spent at one’s home will be taken up with one’s surroundings and environment, so best to make sure the environment you are moving to, fits. When your agent sits down with the seller, ask them to tell you about their experiences living in the neighbourhood. Are there any places they particularly enjoy? Are they keen on any breakfast spots or coffee hangouts? Who is the neighbour to talk to when they are going on holiday? Who is the best person to become acquainted with in the local neighbourhood watch?
6. How many homeowners has the property had?
Whether it is a new or older build, a good question for your agent would be to find out how many owners the property in question has had. If your agent finds that in older builds there has only been one or two owners, you can rest assured that the property made for a happy home and should do the same for you.
Answers to these questions may help alleviate some of the concerns you have and will allow you to move with more confidence.