Six smart questions for property pros

building relation

Building a productive relationship with your property professional is easy, thanks to these six smart questions to ask courtesy of s1homes.

So, whether you’re buying, renting or selling, let’s get ready for Question Time . . . and find out how to make the answers work for you.

How long has this property been available?

Even when the market is sluggish, if the answer is more than four months, find out why. If you’re looking to buy, your estate agent will be happy to give guidance on any potential issues before you invest in a survey.

If you’re looking to rent, the letting agent should be able to provide references from previous tenants. These can red flag any problems or put your mind at ease.


How long have the owners or previous tenants been here?

If the answer is actually not very long, find out why. There are many good reasons for moving quickly – a job change, a new addition to the family, a gargantuan lottery win – but there may be other less fun factors worth checking out. Also, when arranging your viewing, your estate or letting agent can help arrange for you to chat to neighbours.


Is the property in a conservation area or listed?

You might have grand designs on a home yet, after signing on the dotted line, find yourself entangled in red tape when it comes to making any changes. A detailed survey should flag up any restrictions but your estate agent will be able to help you with this before you go to unnecessary expense.


How many people have viewed the property?

Knowing how many other interested parties you’re up against will help determine how popular a rental is . . . and how much you really, really want to go for it.

Similarly, if you’re looking to buy, although they cannot discuss the amounts involved, your estate agent will be able to tell you the number of previous viewings and if any offers have been made.


Are you and your company regulated?

When choosing a property professional to sell your home, confirm they’re signed up to any regulated associations. This could be The Law Society of Scotland, for example. It’s not just a matter of ensuring everything is perfectly presentable and above board – it’s also about knowing your chosen organisation is super-serious about their professional status and public persona.


Are there additional fees I need to know about?

Yes, we’re talking here about the dreaded small print. If you want to avoid hidden costs further down the line, ask what comes under the fee you’re paying and what does not. The good news is most modern estate agents are fully transparent and actually proactive when it comes to explaining costs – but having the discussion will make the process easier and can touch on other aspects such as the level of marketing desired and taking care of items in advance, such as an Energy Performance Certificate.


Oh, and one last question: if you’re looking to buy, sell or rent, where’s the best place to find your ideal property? Answer: s1homes, of course.

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