7 must-ask questions when buying a property

If you’re serious about buying a property, knowledge is power – that means asking loads of questions before signing dotted lines.


Questions to ask the real estate agent:

  1. Can you show me a recent property sales report to show what the house is worth?

Why you need to ask:

This question will answer as to why the agent thinks the house is worth the price they are selling it for.

Ask the agent to provide you with a recent sales report that shows other similar properties and what they sold for in recent times.

This will ensure the house you are buying is fairly priced compared to the rest of the local market and you are not overpaying.

  1. Why is the vendor selling?

Why you need to ask:

It can potentially save you thousands of dollars – the answer to this question can assist you when negotiating the asking price.

If the vendor has already purchased another property elsewhere they will be more motivated to sell generally.

If the vendors are looking to build a property they may like a longer settlement period.

Is it a divorce or deceased estate? Often a deceased estate will need to run through to auction.

Knowing the reason behind the sale is invaluable information to a buyer – a must ask question.

  1. How long has the property been on the market?

Why you need to ask:

If a property has been on the market for more than six weeks, you can safely assume there is something wrong with it or more than likely it is wrongly priced.

Most real estate agents will tell you in the current market correctly priced properties should be sold within six weeks.

Ask the real estate agent if the property was taken to auction and failed to sell and if so, what happened at the auction. If the property was passed in at auction make sure you ask if the pass-in price was from a buyer or if it was a vendor bid.

  1. Are there any known issues with the property, land or neighbours’ properties?

Why you need to ask:

There might be something that you haven’t noticed that could affect the value of the property so it is important to ask the agent if there are any issues that could change your mind.

A building & pest inspection report and/or conveyancer should help pick up most of the potential issues before settlement, but you should ask the agent before signing the contract just in case they can point anything out.

While you shouldn’t rely on it and need to do independent research: “Most agents want to act in good faith as they want the sale to go through so will tell you upfront if they know of any issues that may affect your decision.”


Questions to ask yourself:

5. Can I afford to buy this property?

Why you need to ask:

It sounds like an obvious question, but many people actually ask this before buying a house. Can you still afford the lifestyle you’re used to and pay mortgage repayments? An option is sitting down with your mortgage broker or bank to gain a clear understanding of your budget and your financial position.

Buying a house is an expensive process and could cost you dearly if you had to sell it in six months because you couldn’t afford the repayments.

6. Am I really happy with this house and the location it’s in?

Why you need to ask:

Buying a house is super exciting but can also be stressful and time-consuming. And that can make buyers vulnerable to making mediocre choices.  Spending weekends going to open homes is challenging and time-consuming, after potentially missing out on a few houses, an easy mistake can be to jump at the next one that comes along and find yourself hastily signing a contract. Is it the right house or the house right now?

7.  Why am I buying?

Why you need to ask:

It’s often the simplest questions we forget to ask ourselves. If you don’t know the answer clean and simple, it is not time to buy property.

An important question to answer is – will it be your own home or will it be an investment?

If it will be your own home then its price will become secondary to finding the right features and location for your budget. If it will be an investment then the price is everything because that will determine its return. This can often determine if you are buying with your heart or your head.