Buyers Need to Ask!

Buyers Need to Ask!

Buying a home is both exciting and yet at the same time quite stressful.  Settle your nerves by asking the selling agent some key questions to help you make that big decision to buy!

Avoid unexpected surprises by establishing a clear understanding of inclusions and terms when purchasing your preferred property. We have complied a list of helpful questions for you to ask.

1.       “What are the annual rates and strata fees for the property?”

Rates for properties vary dramatically if they are commercial, residential or acreage so make sure you ask and go as far as siting a current rate notice to see what is charged and if sewage connection and waste services are actually included. 

If you’re considering a Townhouse or Unit or Community title property, you will need to ask for more information about the annual Strata fees. Some Strata include gardening and water expenses, or some only include insurance. Be prepared to cover these annual fees on top of your local council rates.

2.     “What are the settlement terms?” 

This might seem like an unimportant question but if the Vendor wants a quick turnaround and you are able to accommodate a fast exchange and settlement. You could win the deal from a higher bidder because your terms are more suited to the Vendors long term plans.

3.     “What is included in the sale?”

Don’t assume anything.  The vendor might have some lovely curtains they plan on taking.  They could have a very expensive dishwasher or oven they plan to swap for an older not so expensive one.  Ask about everything you see and can think of. The vendors maybe willing to on sell their fridge as it may be too big for their new property or a dryer as it could be difficult to remove.

4.    “What are the average electricity costs?”

This is particularly important if there is Solar power connected. You will want to be sure that the Solar is working properly and actually saving money or needs servicing and repairs.

5.     “Are the buildings and or improvements council approved?”

This is important if you are seeing a recent renovation. Ask to see the DA or Plans with an approval. Getting caught out with an unapproved renovation can be costly to amend to council’s requirements.

6.    Visit the local council or check the website will tell you things like:

The Zoning on the property?

Flooding and bush fire hazards?

Future developments that are planned nearby?

7.     Specifically for acreage find out things like:

Water catchment – town water or tank?  How many litres to fill the tanks should they run out? Who services the area for water cartage?

Is there a sewage tank - where is it on the site and is it serviced regularly and how much does it cost?

Spraying for weeds - some councils enforce noxious weed spraying. This can be costly and it may not be something you want to do from an environmental aspect.

Fencing – check out the fencing to make sure it is in good condition.  It can be expensive to update the fencing and many buyers are so caught up looking at other parts of the property they miss this aspect.

Facilities Is the internet available? How strong is your mobile phone reception? What type of TV reception is available?

Tree’s – What are the trees like? They might be so old they will need to come down and the new owner could be up for arborist fees. Be attentive to anything close to a neighbouring property or near buildings on the property.

Animals – Are the animals staying or going?  You don’t want to be surprised to find livestock left behind. The welfare of these animals should be established before making an offer. 

Make sure you do the final inspection before settlement.  Usually scheduled the day before or the morning of settlement. This is to make sure the property is being handed over in the condition you expect as agreed when the property was exchanged. A settlement maybe postponed up to 2 weeks to rectify any differences. It is your responsibility to organise a final inspection with the selling agent. Feel free to discuss any sales questions with our friendly Sales agent Louise Carmichael