A real estate agent works for the seller, however they have critical information about the home and the vendor that will assist a buyer. While some information cannot be disclosed, there are some details that help both buyers and sellers when they’re disclosed.
Remember: If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Do not be shy in discussing what you want to know with a real estate agent. Where possible, we’re keen to help you with the details you need to know to ensure a smooth and timely sale.
Here are five questions to ask to help as a starting point to learn more about the home you are interested in.
What is the seller’s situation?
(And how soon do they want to sell?)
For some vendors, the matter of why they’re selling isn’t an issue. An agent may be able to tell you whether it’s a deceased estate, or the family might be upgrading or downsizing. Understanding a seller’s situation will assist you in making the best offer suitable. This could include a longer settlement period or a shorter settlement period.
Knowing how soon the seller wants to move can also assist you in understanding how motivated they are to sell. This can put some negotiating power in the hands of the buyer.
How long has the home been on the market for?
(And why has it been on the market for this amount of time?)
If the home is freshly listed, then you know you might be facing stiff competition. The newer a home is, the more interest it is likely to gain in those crucial first two weeks of listing.
If, however, the property has been on the market for a while you may be able to approach the sale a little more strategically. You can also then ask the agent why the home hasn’t sold yet. This answer can provide you many clues as to whether the vendor is, perhaps, shooting a little high with their expected sale price and refused good offers early on. They could now be a little more motivated, allowing you a chance to buy where others missed out.
Have there been any other offers made?
(And was there a reason they were rejected?)
Knowing the level of interest from other buyers in a home is important, both to determine how much competition there is and to know whether you need to act soon to secure the property. If the market is hot, you might just need to be ready to show your best hand to ensure you get your dream home.
While an agent is not obligated to tell you whether there have been offers, and is unlikely to tell you what these offers were, many will be more than happy to let you know if there is a lot of other interest to ensure you don’t miss out. Make sure you ask the agent to keep you in the loop about any new offers or interest on the home so you can act fast.
Do you have anything similar also up for sale?
If you do miss out on this property, it’s nice to know there are other opportunities available. It also allows you to have something to compare the home to and to ensure you’re getting value for money.
We are more than happy to show prospective buyers around other properties listed as they may be more suitable – particularly if there are things you do not like about the specific home you’re considering. It may be the case that you have been looking at a home that actually doesn’t suit you at all, with the right one just around the corner.
Are there any important facts I should know about the home?
An open ended question like this gives agents the chance to disclose anything they are legally required to, or to provide extra information that you may not have known to ask. Perhaps there are extra features that weren’t described in the listing, or there has been a recent remodelling of the kitchen. This gives the agent the opportunity to tell you more.
They may have even rented the home out before and can give you an idea of what it could achieve on the rental market. Whether or not you’re looking to buy an investment property, this can be useful information to have. The more information you can be given by the agent the better, so don’t be afraid to ask if there’s anything you haven’t been told yet.