Six questions to ask the seller when viewing a potential new home

Moving to a new home can be exhilarating and terrifying. One thing is certain – you will have plenty of questions to ask the seller. Ask them directly about their position, their property and the local area to help you to make your decision.

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1. Why are you selling?

Knowing the answer to this question is a way of gauging how serious a seller is about moving and how to pitch your initial offer.

2. Have you found somewhere?

Has the seller found a new property that they are desperate to move to? If so, they may not want to lose out on their dream house for the sake of a few thousand pounds. If you are really interested in their property, you might ask whether they would be prepared to move into rented accommodation so that you can move in.

3. How old is the boiler?

Boiler repairs and replacement can run into the thousands, so check that the current owners have had their boiler serviced regularly. If the boiler is over ten years old, factor the price of a replacement into your offer.

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4. Was planning permission obtained for any building work?

If the property has had a loft conversion or extension, you will need to know whether planning permission was necessary; if so, was this obtained?

If the seller can’t answer this question, don’t worry. A good conveyancing solicitor, such as, can arrange building regulation indemnity insurance to cover you should any problems arise. If planning permission was granted, ask to see the paperwork.

5. Are there any issues I should know about?

You should be able to spot any obvious problems, such as damp, on your first visit; however, it is always worth asking about hidden issues, including subsidence and the presence of invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed. The seller must legally tell you the truth so that you can properly assess whether you are still interested.

6. How far are the nearest shops?

You will probably have explored the local area already, but it is always useful to know what amenities are within walking distance or whether you will be using your car on a daily basis. This is also a chance to ask about local transport links.

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