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Four Questions You Absolutely Must Ask Your Estate Agent

October 14, 2015
After weighing up all the different variables when it comes to buying or selling a house, knowing the right questions to ask your estate agent can feel like yet another task. However, it’s important to do, as these questions can help you spot red flags and prevent a property disaster!   Here is a guide to the four best questions to ask when buying and selling your home:  

Buying

  Why are they selling? An estate agent should have done their due diligence on the property, and found out why the current owners are selling. For example, if they are expanding their family or relocating for work, they could be keen to sell, and that places you in a great position to bargain for a lower price.   What is included in the sale? Ensure that you know exactly what you are getting. Ask whether things like the garden shed and fixtures and fittings will be included, and ensure you know where the boundary lies in case you should ever want to expand the property after buying.   Has the property repeatedly changed hands? If the house has frequently changed hands, then this is a serious warning bell. Try and find out what it was that made previous owners move and if they are willing to be contacted about the property.   Has any major work been done on the house? Major work being completed on a property before it goes to market is not uncommon. Ask to see the relevant planning and building control consents to avoid any issues when you move in.  

Selling

  What is your local market knowledge? An estate agent should know more than just property – they should have an understanding of the local neighbourhood. What’s the average house price? Is the area set to receive any investment for economic development? How long do houses stay on the market? How many sales have you personal been involved with over the past 12 months? These and other questions are a good starting point to test whether the estate agent really knows the area.   How have you valued our property?   Attaining the right asking price is crucial to the process of selling a house quickly and without making a loss. If your estate agent has valued the property, make sure you ask which variables were used to come up with the price, and you will be able to discern whether they are exaggerating the value of your property to impress you. Honest real estate agents will have done their research and will be able to accurately answer the valuation of your property.   What is your advertising and marketing plan for selling a house? A combination of offline and online marketing strategies is the best way to broaden the marketing spectrum of your property. Ensure that your estate agent has a good manner when selling your home by asking them to show you how they would market your house.   How often will you communicate with me? Frequent communication with your estate agent to discuss any new information or concerns is crucial to selling your house quickly. This will allow any surprises to be dealt with efficiently. Ask them whether they prefer email or phone calls as their primary method of communication and advise them of yours.
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Very rude and have a habit of not replying. Have seen personal info of clients too. Very unprofessional and ill-mannered. How they received an award is beyond me.
Very bad customer service.
dismayed to see private client details just left out on tables at the front of the office.