What questions should I ask the estate agent?
If you’re buying or renting a new property, ask as many as you can think of. Be as inquisitive and nosey as possible with questions that give you the best overview of the house and the area that you’re moving to. You could be there for some time, even a lifetime, so don’t hold back - on everything from broadband speeds and schools, to security and neighbours. And don’t forget to get the low down on that boiler.
Once you’ve checked out your chosen property, or got a few down onto a shortlist, you’re probably itching to ask a few more questions. The kind of questions that might not be covered in the estate agent’s details. And the kind of questions that are, perhaps, just a bit awkward.
When you’ve nearly done all your homework, and you’re ‘sold’ on that dream property, here’s a few questions that are worth putting to either the estate agent, or the vendor themselves. After all, you don’t want to discover potential ‘deal-breakers’ once you’ve moved in.
So, here’s what we’d be expecting you to ask.
How energy efficient is my new house?
With energy prices going sky high and showing no sign of stopping, it’s worth getting an honest opinion on how easy it is to get warm and stay warm. If there’s an open fire or log burner, ask questions on how much it’s used. Also ask them when the chimney was last swept. Also, take a good look at those windows and doors to check that they’re double/triple glazed, and in good shape.
How old is the boiler in my target property?
This is an essential piece of kit for your heating and water, and one that not only costs money to run, but big money to replace. So you need to know when the boiler was last serviced and, if it's new, if they have the warranty documents. When you visit the property, make sure you have a good look.
What are the neighbours like in the area where I want to live?
Everybody loves good neighbours. So, it’s worth asking straight-up. If they show signs of sheepishness or embarrassment the reason they could be selling could be because of who they’re living next to. Not happy with the answer? Ask one of their neighbours over the road.
How fast is the broadband in the area I want to move to?
With working from home a growing trend since lockdown, and rising fuel costs making a daily commute less affordable, a strong broadband connection is a critical 21st century utility. So ask them if they work from home, and the type of work they do. How effective is it with multiple users? Visit www.broadband.co.uk to check the broadband speed in your area.
How safe is the neighbourhood that I want to move into?
You can get a good sense for what your new neighbourhood feels like but it’s worth asking the question too, especially if you’re a single person living on your own, or you have young children. Are there safe spaces to play away from traffic? Is there a Neighbourhood Watch scheme? Or a resident’s WhatsApp group. You can also visit www.adt.co.uk which provides an interactive crime map for your local area.
How quiet and peaceful is the area I’m planning to move to?
You can judge for yourself while you’re there, and by going back to visit at different times of the day (and night) but it’s worth asking what the neighbourhood is like. If there’s nearby shops, schools or a pub, ask the question about how and when things get busy. Straight up questions like “do you get any trouble from that pub?” are worth asking. And if you’re looking at a flat or apartment ask a question about how soundproof the walls are.
Why are the vendors of the property I want to buy moving?
Vendors sell for a wide range of reasons, from down-sizing to up-sizing, job relocation to releasing the asset from the estate of a deceased family member, and so on. Understanding why they want to move will give you an understanding of their timescales, and whether they’re in a hurry to sell, and therefore could be open to a competitive offer.
Whether you’re buying or selling, why not call our Holmfirth or Mirfield offices for a chat about the area you’re looking to move to. And if you’re selling, why not book an appointment for a professional valuation.
Call us today on 01484 680800 for Holmfirth, or 01924 497801 for Mirfield.