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The BIG questions to ask when buying a home

There’s no denying that buying a home is an exciting experience. Between open inspections and competitive auctions, it can be easy to get swept away in the thrill. Unfortunately, it can also be easy to get too far down the track with a property that isn’t right, especially if you don’t have advice you can trust. 

At hockingstuart, we pride ourselves on our ability to help buyers find the perfect home for them – whether they’re looking for their first home, a family home or a great investment. To help us give you the most helpful information and to ensure your new home is right for your budget and lifestyle, there are five big questions you need to ask:

How long has the property been on the market?

The property market ebbs and flows as seasons, trends and demographics shift. However, generally speaking, if a property has been on the market for more than 60 days then they may be having trouble selling it. If your agent tells you that the property has been on the market for a while, then the sellers may be more open to negotiations and reduced competition could help give you a leg up.

Do you know the lowest price they’re willing to accept?

It is always in your best interest to go into the buying process with a detailed budget. Knowing exactly how much you’re happy to spend – as well as how much more you could spend without sacrificing your lifestyle – will give you ballpark figures to work within to ensure you don’t get in over your head.

By asking upfront if your real estate agent knows the minimum the sellers will accept will stop yourself from getting caught up in the moment and spending too much. Is their minimum within your budget? If not, you can move on and keep looking.

Are the sellers open to negotiating the price?

There are some sellers who set their eyes on a figure and won’t budge for a cent less. In some cases, this may keep the property on the market for months, or even years, as they wait for a buyer to offer their perfect price. If your real estate agent tells you that they’re not open to negotiations and the sellers’ asking price is not what you had in mind, then it’s sometimes better to cut your losses and keep looking.

Why are they selling?

Not only can this question help you to ferret out any issues with the area or home, but it can also help you during the negotiation process. Are they selling because they just bought a new home? They might be looking for a quick sale and be more open to making a deal. Are they hoping to avoid school rezoning or an upcoming development? These are things you might want to take into consideration before you commit to the area.

Can I see the section 32?

if you’re keen to buy the property then don’t forget to ask for the Section 32. This has all the restrictions and for sale and clauses that you’ll want to know before buying. For instance, some sellers demand a short settlement of 30 days, which may not work with your plans or finances. The section 32 can also shed light on important information such as zoning, land use, building permits and even bushfire dangers. Failure to read the section 32 before buying is a big mistake many buyers make, so make sure you read through all the information in the vendour statement and also have it ticked off by a legal professional.

Remember, buying a home can also be an emotional experience as you fall in love with homes and envision your future. But you should back this up by ensuring you are using your head and all the tools at your disposal to confirm it’s the best decision for you.

Find a hockingstuart office near you and get in touch with an agent to start exploring your options.