The Right Questions to Ask When Buying

Always wondered what questions to ask agents when looking to buy a property? Or need some buying tips?


Here are some questions suggested by leading buyer’s advocate Frank Valentic and negotiator Julia Ewert:


Why are they selling?  

Finding out the vendor’s motivation to sell can help you determine if you can get the upper hand. If their motivation to sell involves one of these ‘five D’s’: distance (moving overseas or to another city) , death, divorce (splitting of assets), deadlines (purchase of a new property) or debts (late mortgage repayments), the chances of buyers having an upper hand is higher. 


Was it previously lived in by the vendors or was it a rental property?

If the property was previously lived in by the vendors, they might hold an emotional attachment to the property, making it harder to bargain with them. If it was previously an investment property, the chances of getting a better deal are higher.


What is their preferred settlement date?

If the seller is looking to settle within the quickest time-frame: offer a lower price and guarantee a fast settlement as motivation  for the vendors to accept. 


How long has it been on the market?

For properties which have been on the market for a while, try asking the agent why it hasn’t been sold yet. Use the chance to gather as much information as you can, and see if any of that information can be of any use to help you negotiate a better price.


Some other buying tips:


  • Always try to buy off-market.


  • For auctions, try make a strong private offer beforehand. 


  • Make an offer with an unusual increment – for example: $567,400, rather than $576,000, to make it seem like you are at your limit.


  • Have a short-list of options, rather than pinning your hopes on one property. 


  • When negotiating, put in an offer and deadline, to instill an urgency in the agent/vendor.


  • Stick to your budget – don’t buy emotionally. 


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