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What questions should you ask an agent at an open home?

By Courtenay Morrison

It’s no secret that attending open homes are a very important step in the buying process. It’s not only a great way to have a good feel for the properties you are considering but also get a feel for what’s on the market and how many people are actively looking to buy.

Get your basics right first

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of it, there are several factors that you need to determine whether you can or cannot compromise on.

  • What is your price range?
  • What location(s) are you looking at?
  • What type of construction are you after? (apartment, house, villa etc.)
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Do you need parking?
  • What is the ideal size?
  • What is the ideal age?
  • What is the ideal condition of the property?

At the open home

Once you’ve done your research and consideration and have a solid idea of what you’re looking for in the market, then you are ready for your search and then your property visits. At the open home, you want to make the most of your time and do a thorough inspection of the place. Have a checklist with you if need be! Here are the main things you should be looking out for, given that you’ve already confirmed the above questions:

  • Electrical and natural lighting of the property
  • If there is a slope to the land
  • Open plan living spaces
  • General wear and tear
  • Status of the bathroom and kitchen (including appliances)
  • Signs of dampness or mould – proper ventilation
  • Any general odour

Now, assuming a property ticks all – or most – of your boxes and you have a real interest in it, here are a few things you should ask the agent at the open home:

  • What are the vendors expecting in price, at or before auction?
    This will help you better determine if this property sits within your willing price range. Ask for comparable sales in the area and how the owner has come to the given price.
  • Is there a Strata, Building or Pest Report for the property and are there any known problems?
    Unless it’s a complete knock down, it’s always advisable to obtain a Building and Pest Report, or Strata Report if you are inspecting an apartment. As the potential buyer, you should be prepared to pay for it, which could be anywhere from $49.00 to $149.00.
  • Are there any current offers made on the property and where would I need to be to better their offer?
    If you’ve done the rounds, inspected the house and have already asked the above questions to which you were met with satisfactory answers and are genuinely interested in the property, then ask the agent this question. The agent may not disclose other offers, but you can get an idea of where you need to be, to be in the running and if it’s in your budget.
  • How many contracts have been requested?
    This is another good indication of the level of genuine interest in the property you are considering.

If the stars align and the house of your dreams is within budget, express interest to the agent as they will help you secure the property at or before auction.

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