Take time to ask the important questions
VITAL INFORMATION Before you buy a preowned home there are a few key questions you need to ask that are not about the conditions of the building. The first of these, says RealNet MD Jan Davel, is why the owner is selling. “And don’t let anyone tell you this is none of your business, because it is vital information that can help you save money and time. You need to know if the seller has been transferred, for example, or has already bought another home, because then he will most likely be keen to sell and ready to negotiate. Similarly, if the seller is financially distressed and worried that the property might be repossessed he will be looking for a speedy sale and may be prepared to accept an offer that just covers the amount owing to the bank and the agent’s commission, rather than one for full market value.” On the other hand, he says, if the property owners have no sale deadline and are just testing the market to see what sort of offers they might get you may be better off looking at other homes. “And if the home is being sold because of a divorce or perhaps a death in the family the transaction could get bogged down in legalities, and you have a right to know what to expect in these circumstances.” In addition, says Davel, you should ask whether the seller has noisy or troublesome neighbours, about the incidence of crime in the area, or a development plan that he or she doesn’t like, and how did the seller arrive at the current asking price, how long ago did the seller purchase the property and how much is still owed on it.