Questions to Ask When Buying or Selling a Home

We have helped broker a lot of home loans in Baldivis, Rockingham and Kwinana and have worked with people on both sides of the equation: buyers and sellers. Often, a customer will be selling one home and buying another.

Buying or Selling A Home

We like to see everyone on both ends get the best possible bargain on their properties. We have found that price isn’t the only factor that makes a deal great for a buyer or a seller. There are always other factors involved. If those outside factors all lined up correctly, it is possible for both buyer and seller to get a great deal because they both get exactly what they were looking for at a fair price.

In the spirit of helping everyone get what they want, we have researched some factors and have come up with some questions that we feel are important to ask when buying or selling a home.

Buyer’s Questions

Do I really want this property?

You will spend a lot of time and money to move. It simply isn’t worth it to move into a house that you don’t really want if you are remotely satisfied with the one you have. If you are buying a house as a “stepping stone,” it may be wise to just stay in the one you have until you can afford the house you want.

Can I really afford this property?

It is human nature to exaggerate our ability to pay off a loan. It isn’t a character flaw; it’s just what we do as human beings. When we want something, we tend to filter our thought process when assessing whether or not we can afford it. We can also be too optimistic at times.

When buying a house, this can result in financial disaster if you aren’t careful. Make sure that your job and income level are appropriate for any house you are considering buying.

How long do I want to keep this house?

If you don’t want to stay for long, it may be an indication that you don’t really want the house. If that is so, stay in your current home.

If you have answered “yes” so far…

If you have decided you really want the house and can afford it, then it is time to make sure that you will be paying a fair price. Here are some questions to ask the real estate agent who is selling the house.

How did you arrive at this price?

Usually, the answer will involve “comparably-priced homes” in the neighbourhood, or the median price for a similar home. Ask for documentation and remember that you are looking for signs of an overpriced home.

How long has the house been for sale?

If it has been on the market for more than a few months, there is a problem somewhere. Either way, always look for reasons to lower the price.

How long has the current owner been in the house?

A short tenure can indicate that there is a covert problem with the house.

Why is the current owner selling the house?

This is another way to uncover covert problems.

Seller’s Questions

These are questions you need to ask yourself, with occasional help from your agent.

Do I really want to sell my home?

You want to make sure that your expectations are realistic and that you aren’t falling victim to what is called “grass-is-greener” syndrome. We recommend listing the positives and negatives of your home and making sure that you really do want to sell it.

How much will it cost me to sell my home?

The seller often pays a lot of money to sell a home. You will pay your real estate agent’s commission, finance charges and stamp duty. There may also be added costs such as a mortgage break fee.

Do I need to make changes in my new home? If so, how much will it cost to do so?

If you are selling your old home to move into a new one, is it ready to move into, or do you have to make changes? How much extra will it cost to move into your new home?

Can I afford the home I really want to buy?

If you are “moving up,” you will have a larger mortgage payment. Interest rates are low right now so you may want to allow for a one or two point rise in your future mortgage rates.

Buying or Selling:

It pays to get professional advice. Call us on (08) 9527 1800 for sound advice. It could be the best call you ever make.