Questions to ask your York estate agent
Buying a home and moving into it is said to be one of life’s most trying experiences but with York estate agent Redmove we offer an award-winning service so here’s some advice about what you should ask your estate agent.
A lot of people are still unaware that an estate agent is legally obliged to tell the truth about a property they are selling though as an estate agency with a good reputation, we don’t need a law to tell us that honesty is always the best policy when dealing with buyers and vendors alike.
However, there are questions that anyone buying or selling a home should be asking and this article gives a quick guide as to what those questions should be.
What to ask when buying a property
Firstly, it’s prudent to ask why the owner is selling up. There could be a number of reasons and though the estate agent doesn’t have to give an answer, he or she may hint at the circumstances.
It may be because the vendor is moving abroad for work or the couple living there are divorcing. In our experience the reason for selling is varied and it’s an honest question to ask.
Whenever a buyer is looking around a property they should ask exactly what is included in the sale. It may include fixtures and fittings but it may also include the greenhouse or garden shed.
Indeed, some properties are sold with all of the contents included in the sale.
Reasons for selling a home
This is also good moment to ask how long the owners have been living in the property and how frequently has it changed hands in recent years – closely followed by querying how long it has been on the market.
In York, properties generally sell very quickly but in other parts of the country they can remain on the market for longer – around three months is an average in some parts.
A potential buyer would then be inclined to ask why the property isn’t selling. Is it the price? Is it the location?
There are also similar questions that the vendor and seller will have such as how did the estate agent arrive at the asking price? A good agent will happily explain their justification for the price of the property.
Ask how the York estate agent arrived at the asking price
In most cases, and this is especially true with a York estate agent, check out the prices of properties in the nearby area and they will, more than likely, be in a similar price range.
The estate agent should also be able to answer simple questions such as: which direction does the property face? Have any major works been undertaken on the property?
One other problem that property buyers in York frequently ask is whether the property is listed. That’s because a lot of homes are very old and if it is listed, the potential buyer will want to know what grade it is listed at.
This is because its listing will have an impact on the renovations and work that can be carried out.
It’s also important to ask whether the property is in a conservation area for similar reasons.
In recent years too, York estate agents have had to understand and appreciate the impact of Energy Performance Certificates. A potential buyer should ask what certificate the property is rated at.
Find out your Energy Performance Certificate rating
Essentially, the certificate indicates how energy-efficient the property will be and will reveal whether there is wall cavity insulation and loft insulation, among other criteria.
A York estate agent should also know the council tax band and they should also have a good idea of how much the utility bills are – though this will only be an estimate since different people have different usage requirements.
When visiting a potential property with a view to buying it, it’s also good idea to try the taps – does the water flow through quickly and evenly – and check whether any redecoration has been completed recently as this may be covering damp or cracks.
One of the most important reasons for buying a property for a family is the availability of good local schools. A good estate agent will know the answer to this since they know it is such a strong reason for buyer to be interested.
Buying a property with a good school nearby
It doesn’t hurt to carry out independent research to ensure that what the estate agent is saying is actually true and in York the issue of schools is very important.
Indeed, here at Redmove we have written another informative article on ‘Why a good school in York will add value to a property’.
So far the information and advice we’ve discussed is mainly aimed at those buying a property but there are questions that potential vendors should be asking of their York estate agent before agreeing to sell their home.
As a vendor there are two crucial pieces of information you need from an estate agent who is looking at taking you on as a client.
We’ve already touched on how an estate agent values a property though the second question is something many vendors never consider.
How will a York estate agent market your home?
And that is: ‘How will you market my home?’
It’s no longer good enough for a York estate agent to place an advert in the local newspaper or on a property website such as Zoopla or Rightmove because agencies must be much more proactive to sell a property today. Ask them what else they do to attract buyers.
Finally, the most important question a vendor should ask their estate agent is: why should I choose you to sell my home?
Here at Redmove we already know the answer to that question and we are confident that we have the abilities to back-up our claims and we would highlight that vendors should not just choose an agent with the lowest fees and highest valuation.
Selling homes is not as easy as many people would believe and we will publish another article entitled ‘What an estate agent actually does’ which will illustrate how a property should be marketed to potential buyers who will pay the best possible price. Essentially, all estate agents will work hard for their client and everyone at Redmove is dedicated to that ethos.
If you have any questions or want to know more about the process to buy or sell a home in York, then contact Redmove and we will be happy to discuss your needs on 01904 488444 or you could drop York’s award winning estate and letting agents a line.
There’s a Government website that has some excellent information on Energy Performance Certificates.