Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ask the Seller If You're Not Sure about the Merits of a Property

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ask the Seller If You're Not Sure about the Merits of a Property

Article excerpt

Byline: By Francesca Angelucci

So, you're planning to move and have your eye on that country cottage or Victorian townhouse. You're determined to find out as much as possible about the property ( but what should you ask the vendors?

These are typical questions from my postbag.

What questions should I ask the owners of the house I hope to buy?

The soon to be introduced home information pack will give housebuyers much more information at the outset of the buying process.

Nevertheless, it's wise to ask as many questions as you can before agreeing to buy a property. Here are the top questions home sellers don't want you to ask!

* Why are you selling?

This helps to find out the seller's motivation. If the sellers have already bought another house or are having to relocate because of a new job, they will want to close a deal quickly.

* What did you pay?

You can estimate the increase in value during the time the sellers have lived in the house against average rates.

This can help enormously when deciding on an offer price for the property.

* What can you tell me about the neighbourhood?

As well as asking the question, it's always a good idea to drive, walk or bike through the neighbourhood at different times of the day and night to try it before you buy it. And don't forget to chat with the neighbours, especially about your prospective new address.

* How old is the roof?

A new full or partial roof is extremely expensive. Better to find out the condition of the roof now.

If the roof predates the present owner you can ask if there is a way of contacting the previous owner.

* Has this property ever been rented?

If the property was used as a rental at some time it may help negotiations over the cost.

* What is your impression of local schools?

Some buyers prioritise the quality of schools above the choice of house. Location is of paramount importance to house buyers, and good local schools can significantly affect house prices in a district.

* Do you mind if I schedule a few inspections at my expense? …

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