Q: We’ve been doing the rounds of open homes recently. While some agents are really helpful, many are not. What are the most important questions we should ask when we find a property we are interested in?
John & Becky L.
A: The open home is the best time to qualify a property in or out of your search. Take the
opportunity to ask the agent questions face-to- face rather than via email or phone. If it’s busy then either come back another time or stick around so you can speak directly to the agent after the open.
Remember, the agent is not allowed to lie, but many are pretty good at avoiding giving you a direct answer! Here are four initial questions (we’re assuming sales by auction here), to make sure you are as informed as possible.
Why are the owners selling? It’s great to know the seller’s motivation. If the owners have already bought, or are moving into a retirement village for example, then you know they are serious and the property will very likely be sold.
How long has it been on the market? If a property has been on the market for a long period of time it is most likely due to an unrealistic price expectation, so a good guide to owners price expectation. But don’t let that stop you making an offer!
What is the seller’s price expectation? You can certainly ask this but most agents will not give you a straight answer. We do our best to be honest and we often have the same list of sold properties that we have supplied to the seller at appraisal time, available at the open homes. No one knows what a property will sell for at auction, but the agent should be able to provide you with some realistic and relevant information.
Has there been much interest in the home? This gives you an idea of the level of competition you are likely to encounter on auction day. Don’t be pu off if the open home is really busy. A busy open home does not necessarily mean a busy auction, so make sure you ask the agent how much interest there is, and base your decision on that.
We don’t have the space here to go into all the detail, but feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.