When you are looking to make an offer on a property, it’s important to gather as much information as possible to allow you to make a smart and informed decision. The selling agent plays an important intermediary role in the process, but always keep in mind that their sole allegiance is to the seller and not you the buyer – that’s your Buyer’s Agent role. To ensure you have all the facts so that you can negotiate effectively, asking the right questions is really important as is undertaking your own due diligence checklist. In this blog we’ll explore some of the key questions our Brisbane Buyer’s Agents ask the selling agent, before making any offer on any property.
15 Key questions to ask before making an offer on a property in Brisbane
1. Is the property still available for sale or is it under contract?
Although it might sounds silly, we always ask this question up front so we don’t waste any time inspecting and investigating a property that is already under contract. Keep in mind that many agents keep showing a property (doing open homes), until the property is unconditional, even though it may be under contract.
2. What price is the vendor hoping for?
This gives you an idea of what the owner is aiming for and helps with your negotiations and working out if the property is within your budget or not. Reading between the lines, it can also provide guidance as to whether the agent is confident in achieving the asking price or not.
3. Are there any recent local sales that are a good comparable for this property?
Understanding the basis for the asking price can provide valuable insights into the seller’s expectations and motivations. It also helps you assess if the price aligns with the property’s value.
4. Have there been any other offers made?
Before we make an offer on a property, it’s important to know if there have been previous offers can give you an idea of the property’s desirability, competition and also what the owner is not willing to accept.
5. How long has the property been on the market?
The time a property has been listed can indicate its market appeal. The longer the property on the market might suggest potential issues, overpricing, or a slow or softening market.
6. Why is the vendor selling and how long have they owned it?
Understanding the seller’s reason for selling can help you gauge their urgency and potential flexibility in negotiations. Knowing the duration of the previous ownership and the reasons for selling can provide insights into the property’s history and potential issues. It can also influence your negotiation strategy.
7. Has the asking price been reduced during the time the property has been on the market?
Price reductions indicate that the property may have initially been overpriced. It’s important to know if any adjustments have been made and consider their impact on the property’s value.
8. Can I obtain a copy of the Comparative Market Analysis?
Requesting a copy of the comparable sales report enables you to compare the property’s price with similar properties in the area. Keep in mind that the sales chosen for inclusion in this report will support the asking price and have exclude sales that don’t.
9. How old is the property and when were the renovations done?
Understanding the property’s age allows you to assess its condition and potential maintenance requirements. e.g. If the bathrooms were renovated 15 to 20 years ago, they may start having water proofing issues in the near future.
10. Are there any known issues with the property or recent renovations?
Asking about any known issues or recent renovations helps you assess the property’s condition, potential maintenance costs, and the need for further inspections. I also ways like to ask the agent – If you bought this property, what work would you do to it?
11. What is included in the sale?
Clarifying what’s included in the sale avoids misunderstandings and ensures you know exactly what you are purchasing. This includes fixtures, fittings, appliances and any additional structures.
12. Could you ask the owner if they have a copy of the council final approval for the renovations/extensions that have been undertaken?
By reviewing the council approvals, you can verify if any major modifications or additions to the property were carried out legally and in compliance with building regulations. Before making an offer on a property, this information helps you understand the history and quality of the property’s construction, providing insight into potential structural issues or concerns. It also ensures that the property has undergone proper inspections and approvals, giving you peace of mind regarding its safety and adherence to relevant codes. e.g. Ask for a copy of the Form 21 for the renovations undertaken. This should be part of your due diligence checklist.
13. Can you provide details of the outgoings associated with the property, such as council rates, water charges, and body corporate fees (if applicable)?
Understanding the outgoings associated with the property is crucial for evaluating the ongoing expenses you’ll be responsible for as the owner. Council rates and water charges can vary significantly between properties and knowing these details before making an offer on a property allows you to accurately estimate the property’s total cost of ownership. Similarly, if the property is part of a body corporate, knowing the associated fees is essential to assess the financial commitment and any shared responsibilities. If you are buying the property as an investment, I would be asking for a rental appraisal and enquiring regarding the rental demand in the area. Also, if the property has Body Corporate, ask for copies of the minutes of the recent meetings etc.
14. If the property is planned to go to auction, are the sellers open to offers prior to the auction date?
Knowing whether the property is 100% going to auction or if the sellers are keen to take offers prior to the auction date can provide you with valuable negotiation leverage. If the property is scheduled for auction, you can strategise accordingly and prepare for bidding. On the other hand, if the sellers are willing to consider offers prior to the auction, you have an opportunity to engage in direct negotiations and potentially secure the property before it goes to auction. This knowledge allows you to tailor your approach and timing to maximise your chances of acquiring the property on your terms.
15. We’re looking at making an offer on the property, can you let me know when you are presenting offers to the owner so we don’t miss out?
By asking this question and keeping in touch with the agent (if you are keen on the property), you’ll be kept in the loop and know when your offer must be made by.
Buying a property is a large emotional and financial decision and asking the right questions of the selling agent is crucial to obtaining all the necessary information needed to make a smart property decision before making an offer on a property. By understanding the motivations behind the sale, the property’s value and any potential issues, you can make an informed offer and negotiate effectively. Remember to always conduct your own due diligence checklist and don’t reply solely on the information provided by the vendors selling agent and seek professional advice when you need some extra assistance. Seeking professional advice, such as engaging one of our professional Buyer’s Agents in Brisbane, we can help you navigate the property market and find your dream property.
If you are considering purchasing a home or investment property in Brisbane or South East Queensland and would like the assistance of an experienced Brisbane Buyer’s Agent that can help you find the perfect property, that meets all your requirements for the right price, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Sam Price, Buyer’s Agent and Director – Templeton Property.