Take time to ask the im­por­tant ques­tions

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

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.

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