Purchasing a house is stressful enough, and what better way to eliminate the pressure than by asking the relevant questions? Moreover, the seller or real estate agent must answer these questions truthfully. If they don’t, there are over 135,000 real estate agents in Canada, and you can move on to the next. Hopefully, the questions below will act as guidelines when you’re ready to buy your property.
- How long has the house been on the market?
Ideally, the listed property is sold from six weeks to three months. Anything further than three months may be a cause for concern, especially if you are the buyer. Knowing how long the property has been listed or been on the market can help you determine if there is an underlying reason for the stagnation. You should ask if it’s been listed for more than three months and why it is still on the market and not sold.There may be a problem that explains the property stalling on the market. Perhaps, other house viewers noticed something they didn’t like and therefore moved on to other properties. Fortunately, the seller is obliged to answer these questions without withholding information. That should help you decide on whether to buy the property or not.
- Were any major renovations done recently?
If you are interested in the property, it would be best to seek information about renovations since the house was built. You can further ask for planning permission documents proving that the local council approved these renovations. The last thing you want is to own a property with unapproved or illegal structures that defy the country’s building codes. In a worst-case scenario, you may have to bring any renovation down if legal permission wasn’t sought.
- Are there restrictions on a possible expansion of the property?
This is quite similar to the previous point. The difference here, though, is the restriction. This discussion focuses on whether the new owner will have the legal rights to carry out any expansion on the project. What kind of expansion can be carried out after purchase if there is? Are you willing to retain the original structure of the building even when the expansion is complete? According to real estate guru, Armand Candea, keeping the original structure may help the building retain its characteristics. It is better to sort out the nitty-gritty before you suffer any regrets or disappointments.
- Why is the owner selling the property?
People sell their properties for a myriad of reasons. They may be moving abroad, downsizing, escaping a noisy neighborhood, or needing the money for something urgent. Whatever the reason is, as a potential buyer, you have the right to ask and, more importantly, to be informed. For all you know, the owner may be selling the house because of hidden defects on the property that they cannot afford.
Therefore, by selling it, they are absolved of any responsibility to take up the cost of repair works. Unfortunately, that becomes an unfair cost pushed to the next owner, which could be you. Are you willing to buy a property with hidden damages requiring expensive repair work? If your answer is no, it is best to ask questions.