Many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues. Does anything need to be replaced? What things require immediate or ongoing maintenance (e.g., painting, roof, heating, appliances, carpet)? Also ask about the house and neighborhood, focusing on quality of life issues (e.g., pylons nearby, multiple cars on neighbours drives, dogs barking, busy roads, lack of parking)? Be sure the seller’s or estate agent’s answers are clear and complete. Ask questions until you understand all of the information they’ve given. Making a list of questions ahead of time will help you organize your thoughts and arrange all of the information you receive.
Listen to your estate agent’s advice, but follow your own instincts on deciding a fair price. Calculating your offer should involve several factors: what homes sell for in the area, the home’s condition, how long it’s been on the market, financing terms, and the seller’s situation. By the time you’re ready to make an offer, you should have a good idea of what the home is worth and what you can afford. And, be prepared for give-and-take negotiation, which is very common when buying a home. The buyer and seller may often go back and forth until they can agree on a price.
The HomeBuyer Report is recommended for conventional, newer homes, which are in reasonable condition. It is the most frequently undertaken survey which provides a more in depth report of the condition of the property and will give you professional advice to allow you to make an informed decision of whether to go ahead with buying a property.
The HomeBuyer Report will not detail every single aspect of the building, but it does spotlight urgent matters that have a substantial effect on the value of the property and need attending to or further investigation. It will include all major sections of a property that are visible to the surveyor, so they will not lift up floors or carpets and wiring will not be included.
If you have a property that is in need of renovation or that you intend to alter, we recommend you commission the more comprehensive ‘Building Survey’ from a RICS Chartered Surveyor.
There isn’t a set number of houses you should see before you decide. Visit as many as it takes to find the one you want. On average, homebuyers see 15 houses before choosing one. Be sure to communicate often with your estate agent about everything you’re looking for but don’t rely solely on your agent. Your agent has a list longer than their arm of potential clients that will be further up the queue than you are. It will help avoid wasting your time and missing out on the house you want. Do the homework yourself by perusing the local area regularly. I’ve known homes to come on the market and completion of the sale (handing the keys over) within 24hours. So if you do find the house of your dreams, be prepared to act fast, as it may also be the house of someone elses dreams too!