• Laura and Dave

8 Top Questions To Ask The Estate Agent

1) Exactly what is included in the sale?

Is the garden shed or greenhouse included? Are the fixtures and fittings? Exactly where does the boundary lie? Make sure you see all of what you are getting. It is not unknown for some of the contents to be included in the sale.

2) How did the agent decide on an asking price?

A good agent will provide you with justifications for the asking price, which you can then judge for yourself. You should in any case visit other homes for sale nearby, and do your own research so you get a good idea what properties in the area sell for.

3) Which way does the property face?

Evening drinks on that beautiful terrace will not be so pleasant if the house faces north and the sun disappeared hours ago. Or maybe you love the sun waking you up in the morning – in which case ensure you face south-east. Which rooms will you be using most; and which way do they face?

4) Have any major works been conducted?

If so, are you able to have a look at the relevant planning and building control consents? In most cases you can search online for planning applications (granted and refused) on the local planning authority website. It would be awful if you bought your dream home only to find out you would have to knock half of it down.

5) How much is the Council Tax? And how much are utility bills in the area?

Try and get exact amounts. Talk to the seller if you have to. While these may seem like small considerations in comparison to the amount you will spend on the house, they are reoccurring expenses that will add to the pressure of owning your home.

6) Can they explain the Energy Performance Certificate?

The rating on the EPC which says how energy efficient the property is, will be influenced by a number of things. Is there loft insulation? Is there wall cavity insulation? When were they all put in? Is the boiler covered with lagging? How many outside walls are there?

7) How old is the property?

Not only is this nice to know anyway, but the upkeep of older houses can be more expensive. Although they were often built in a more sturdy way. Know that each property type comes with its own issues, and be prepared before you buy.

8) What can they tell you about the local neighbourhood?

What are the schools like? What is the crime rate like? How good are transport links? Where is the nearest petrol station? While it is a good idea to see what the estate agent has to say, make sure you do some independent research as well.

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