http://www.propertytoolbox.co.nz/house-buying-information/questions-for-the-agent-part-1/ we started talking about questions to ask the agent when you are interested in a house you are viewing. We focused in that blog post on direct questions related to the price and reasons for selling. This blog post we are getting into the condition of the house and other physical factors that may affect the house’s value and suitability of the house for you.
6. What is that condition of the house? - This is really important to get an insight into - Have any of the - Piles, Wiring, Interior Lining, Roof, Exterior and Plumbing been re-done. Tip – a partial re-wire, re-pile etc usually means a couple of things have been replaced and most likely means that more work is necessary.
7. Has there been any work done? Is it all permitted? This is one of the questions which the agent may (choose to) not know anything about – ask them if they asked the vendor about permits for an extension, knock-thru etc
8. Where are the boundaries? Are the fences on the boundaries? – Sometimes the boundaries are not where fences are and garages can be on road reserve (council land) so it pays to find out. Even if the real estate agent doesn’t know exactly where the boundaries are – they should know if there are any potential issues with boundaries.
9. What things (chattels) are included or not included? – Never assume that all the attached furnishing, like shelves and lights are going to be included in the sale – especially if you particularly like a chattel – check that it is going to be left behind.
10. Is there anything I should know? Anything that may affect value? - You never know what the vendor is aware of that may affect your perception of the house and its value. This is probably the most important question to ask! An agent is obliged to tell you anything about a house that they are aware of that could affect its value, whether this is building issues (leaky building!) or local development (childcare centre is opening next door).
Remember to always independently check the claims of the real estate agent. An agent is not a building inspector, valuer or an expert on the building act or local council regulations. So if you are serious about buying - get the experts in!