Whether you are a first-time homeowner or a landlord looking to rent, or even if you are looking for a location to run your business, conveyancing is a hectic and stressful process. It is important amidst the chaos, to collect your thoughts and ask the essential conveyancing questions so that you can form an opinion based on facts. Your agent is there to help, but there is a limit to what they are ethically (and legally) allowed to do for you, so it contributes to knowing what questions to ask beforehand.
Start with these Essential questions
Price to offer
Your agent cannot tell you how much to offer, but they have knowledge about the local real-estate market and can help you make an informed decision. Always find out how much other properties in the area have sold for, and the percentage of the asking price that was agreed upon, so that you can have a reference for judging the value of the property. Your agent can help you find all of this information, and it may be best to ask all the essential conveyancing questions to him/her. Also, find out how much the properties are asking for which are still for sale, and consider that if a property has not sold for a few months, it may be asking too much.
Be careful when comparing your home to others as certain factors such as recent interior renovations can affect the price significantly. It is okay to inquire about how low an offer the sellers would be satisfied with, as long as both respectfully agree – one could ask how “flexible” they are on pricing instead of risk being offensive and give a low offer.
Reason for purchase or sale from the opposing party
The process of conveyancing can often be rushed, but it is important to try and fully understand why the owners are selling. If possible, try to speak to the owners directly, as you will get more honest answers than you would from their agent. Try to get into their heads about the property; How long have they lived there? How long did the previous owners live there? What are the neighbours like? In fact, speak to the neighbours too and get their opinions on the neighbourhood and the property you are looking into buying. The more people you talk to, the more information you will find that would not typically be offered up.
Find out if the property, or any nearby, are being sold as a result of foreclosure because that would mean less competition for buyers in the area, and lower prices. These are the essential conveyancing questions you need to ask yourself and the people involved in conveyancing – including the property owners.
Finally, find out whether there have been any repairs or renovations done to the house or any part of the property, and ask for receipts for any of this work. Also, inquire about any appliances that come with the house, and find out if they are changed or have any existing warranties. Ask how old the roof is because it might need replacing, and try the taps and toilets in the house to make sure they all work as they should. At times this may feel like a long or intrusive process, but remember that once you make the purchase, you will be stuck with whatever problems the property may have, so it is best to try to bring it all into the open so that you do not have any unpleasant surprises later.