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Top 10 questions to ask when viewing a property

22 December 2020

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Buying a property is one of the biggest investments that you will make in your life. It is therefore important to ask as many questions as you can when viewing a property to best understand if the property fits your requirements.

Read our top ten questions to ask the estate agent when viewing your next potential home.

1. How long has the property been on the market?

If the property has been on the market for a period of three months or more it is important to ask why. It maybe that other potential buyers have pulled out of the sale through spotting a potential fault with the property that would be expensive to fix.

It is always recommended to view a property at least 2-3 times before putting an initial offer in to buy. That way you can be sure that you have had a good look around the inside and outside of the property to check that everything is in good working order.

If your offer on the property is accepted it is also recommended to have an independent building survey conducted.

2. Why is the owner selling?

Find out how long the current owner has lived in the property for and what their motivation to sell is. If they have only lived in the property for a year or two this may be an indication of issues with the property, noisy neighbours or the surrounding area.

Of course the seller may be moving due to a change in their circumstances such as relocating for work, moving in with a partner or expecting a baby.

3. How has the property value changed in the past few years?

Ask questions to find out how the estate agent calculated the value of the property. If there has been a sudden jump in the valuation of the property, find out why this is. If the property has been recently renovated, with work like a new roof, newly fitted kitchen and bathroom this can add value. If the property has not been subject to any major renovations, and the value of other similar properties in the area has not gone up, it may be that the home is overvalued.

Check the land registry website to see what the property has sold for in the past. This knowledge will help with any future price negotiations.

4. Have any major works been done to the property recently?

Ask if any major work has been done to the property recently and ensure that the seller has evidence of any guarantees or warranties. Check that planning permission was granted for any work that was completed, such as extensions and basement conversions. If any work was completed without the consent of the local planning authority, this may lead to trouble in the future.

5. What is the drainage and guttering like?

Check the state of the guttering and drainage around the property. Having to replace them can be an added expense to account for when you move into the home.

6. What is the condition of the roof?

Take note of the condition of the roof when viewing a property, roofs generally need to be replaced every 15 years and it can cost several thousands to do so. Look out for loose or cracked tiles and the build-up of moss, which may indicate that a replacement will be needed soon.

7. What are the neighbours like?

Issues with noisy neighbours can cause havoc for home owners. The seller is legally obliged to tell you if they have lodged any formal complaints about their neighbours if you ask them.

8. Is the seller in a chain?

Find out if the sellers have found their next property and have had an offer successfully accepted. If they haven’t and this leaves you in the middle of a property chain this may lead to delays and complications for your move.

9. Is the property listed or in a conservation area?

Buying a property in a conservation area or a listed building can mean that you are restricted in what work you can do the interior and exterior of the property.

10. What is included in the sale?

Find out what exactly is included in the sale i.e. will the owners leave fixtures and fittings such a light fittings and blinds, and outdoor storage such as garden sheds. You may also be able to negotiate certain items into the sale such as white goods or garden furniture that the seller may no longer need when they move onto their next property.

The seller is required by law to complete a Fittings and Contents form, also known as a TA10, which outlines what fixtures and fittings are included in the sale. This won’t however be disclosed until the sale progresses so it is a good idea to find out as much as you can prior to putting an offer in on the property.

True Solicitors are experienced residential conveyancing lawyers, who will handle your transaction on a no completion, no fee basis. Contact us today for a free, no obligation conveyancing quote.

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