When it comes to making the most of an open home inspection, knowledge is power. Here are some top tips to getting a competitive advantage by asking the right questions.
If you are serious about purchasing the property, you need know all the nitty, gritty detail. Ask about its structure, insulation, whether there has been any termite or weather damage in the past and any other previous issues with the property you may need to keep in mind. It’s also important to ask what improvements the owner has made in the past.
Value of the view
Consider what angle the house faces and whether it receives early morning or afternoon sun. Ask in particular in what ways the living or communal spaces receive sunlight and the warmest places in the property. This will be a big selling point when it comes time for you to sell the property. You need to know it is in a good place to keep warm in winter and cool in summer.
Quiz their local knowledge
Ask the agent how well they know the area, and what insights they can give you about the local community, neighbours and what type of community surrounds the property. If you are looking to raise or grow a family, be sure to quiz them about local schools, transport, and sporting clubs for kids and of course proximity to amenities as your needs change.
It’s a numbers game
A well-informed real estate agent will be able to tell you how much other properties have sold for in the area, and the expected rate of growth in the area. Ask them for an overview of the going rates in the area and expected speed of growth over the next five, ten and twenty years to ensure you are making a wise potential investment.
Consider the use of the property come five, ten, fifteen years down the track. Are you going to inhabit the property? Will you renovate or update? Will you rent to a small or growing family? In short, what are the upsides?
Ask about any building restrictions that may impact future plans. Are there height restrictions? Are you able to remove shrubbery if building? It can also be useful to check your local council website for policies around building and development. It always pays to keep your options open.
About the author: Michael Cooney is a director at Hodges Real Estate in Beaumaris, Melbourne, specialising in real estate for almost three decades, of which has seen him accumulate over a billion dollars of residential sales.