Prospective buyers need to be more astute, before deciding on a property, Propell National Valuers WA manager Matt Murphy says.

“Purchasing a property is a large investment and it is important to undertake careful research before making a final decision to purchase, ” Mr Murphy said.

He said the key issue in buying a property was not to make an emotional decision and purchase a home you fall in love with — which could be a costly choice — without research or querying the selling agent.

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia spokesman Byron Rose said there were key questions buyers should ask before signing any contracts.

1. How did you price this house?

“By asking an agent how they put a value on the house, they are then obliged to provide a list of comparable properties in the area and present their justification for the asking price, ” Mr Rose explained.

2. How long has this property been on the market?

Mr Rose said the length of time a home had been on the market could indicate if it was overpriced or if the vendor may be willing to sell for less than the asking price.

“Buyers should also ask whether the property has been listed with any other agents prior and whether it has been on the market previously in the past year, ” he said.

3. When was the last time the property was sold?

“If it has exchanged owners several times in a short period, this could tell the buyer that there may be problems associated with the house that are not immediately obvious, ” Mr Rose said, listing potential flooding, plumbing issues or bad neighbours as examples.

4. What are the reasons for selling?

Mr Murphy said knowing the reasons for selling could help with the negotiation.

“The seller may be relocating interstate or to another part of Perth and may have already purchased a new home. In such circumstances, the seller could be open to an offer that has a short settlement time frame or with fewer conditions or evidence that you have a finance pre-approval, ” Mr Murphy said.

5. What improvements have been made to the house and have they been approved by council?

Mr Rose said a recent renovation or extension would need to be factored into the sale price while all updates should have the appropriate certifications from council to prove their legality.


© The West Australian

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