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6 questions to ask your real estate agent as a buyer

By Andrew Bell

Whether you're buying a home for the first time in your life or you've been through the process before, the importance of working with a great real estate agent cannot be overstated. These are professionals who have likely closed countless sales – and as a consequence, they've pretty much seen it all.

How can you go about tapping that expertise most effectively? It's simple: by asking all the right questions. The following suggestions are good areas to explore, no matter how many times you've completed a home purchase yourself:

1) "What do you think of the location?"

While you have undoubtedly heard that the first rule of real estate is "location, location, location," you might not realise everything that goes into what that actually means, according to Domain. There's more to it than just where on the map a home is physically – it also entails the quality of the local schools, coverage for fire, police and medical services, proximity to major attractions, nearby amenities like parks and much more.

Your agent should know all this, and be able to tell you how a given home rates in these areas.

2) "Did the previous owners make any changes?"

If you're buying an older home, there have likely been a number of updates to the property over the years, Domain added. Some may have been rewired, added central air conditioning, had solar panels installed and so on. Knowing what changes have been made should give you a better idea of what you might need to do a few years down the line, and factor that into your decision-making.

3) "Why is the previous owner selling?"

Generally speaking, it's important to understand why an owner is moving out of a home, according to RealEstate.com.au. If they're doing it because the house just doesn't suit their needs anymore (for instance, if they have a growing family) that's one thing. But if they have to move for work or other more pressing matters, that's something that can impact their motivation to get the sale closed quickly, and potentially lowers your costs.

4) "How long has it been on the market?"

Another thing that needs to be considered is how long the owner has been trying to sell, RealEstate.com.au said. Those that have been listed as for-sale for weeks or even months might have something fundamentally wrong with it that you will need to carefully consider, but if it's a new listing, you might face more competition. It's important to strike the right balance when looking at these issues, and find the one that works best for you.

5) "What will our monthly bills look like?"

One of the most important considerations in buying a home – beyond the price of the property itself – is the cost of ownership, according to Gateway Bank. You are likely to face a lot of expenses in the course of homeownership, from your various taxes to the amount you pay for electricity, heating, water and so on.

6) "Do you know of any issues with the home?"

Finally, there may be some things that don't immediately appear to you when you visit a home you might want to buy, Gateway Bank advised. For instance, if your home is near an airport, you might be bothered by the sound of passing planes or helicopters. That's something an agent should absolutely be prepared to tell you.

At Ray White Surfer's Paradise, we've guided countless clients through the home sales process – both as buyers and sellers. For that reason, you can rest assured of our expertise, and our dedication to getting you the best possible deal. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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