Top 6 Questions To Ask Your Estate Agent

Picture of a white cardboard cut out of house being held out in front of green background.

You’re over the moon to have received your mortgage approval in principle from AIB and you’re eager to get searching for that perfect new home. Not only this, you’ve read our First Time Buyers Checklist, spent the evening searching high and low online and have a couple of houses in mind for viewing this weekend.

We’ve all heard the stories of queues at viewings being nearly as long as they were during the Celtic Tiger, so the property market is definitely a competitive one right now. Therefore, it’s important to know the right questions to ask your estate agent so that you’re not wasting your time viewing houses that just aren’t right for you. Especially when the right one could be closer than you think.

AIB Mortgagesbring you the information you really need so you can put your viewing list together. Just ask your estate agent these simple questions below:

What’s the location, location, location?

The age old fact that location is the most important detail to take into consideration when buying your new home has never been more true. However, is the home really where you assume is it? While an estate agent can never change the postcode of a house, make sure to get the full address from them and check it out on Google Maps so you know where the exact location is.

What’s the square footage?

After location, the next most important aspect of a new home to look at is the size. Ensure you get the actual dimensions of the house as the wide-angle lens shots that can sometimes make rooms appear larger.

Can the property be extended?

A real buzzword for estate agents is a home’s ‘potential’. During the sales pitch, you may be lead to believe the tiny cottage you’re viewing could be transformed into a mansion given the right amount of care and planning. However, something important to clarify is the potential for planning permission. Additionally, you should also look at your own financial situation and consider if living in a fixer-upper, no matter for how long, is the right call for you.

Any structural or planning issues?

Agents will know that sooner or later in the process, planning issues will arise. If you ask them straight out, they won’t want to waste their time or yours. Similarly, obvious issues with the structure of the house will present themselves pretty quickly. If something is not as the brochure would have you believe, it shouldn’t be in there.

Has the house been up for sale for long?

You see a lovely new property has just been reposted online.. As property prices are currently rising, a house that is for sale for a long time could be somewhat suspect. Make sure you’re properly informed and ask about the history of the property.

Have people placed bids?

Clarify with the agent if there’s been any bids on the house and ensure you’re kept in the loop about bids on the property. If you place a bid yourself and then outbid, you will be given an opportunity to raise your bid. At this point, if you don’t up yours you may not be kept informed going forward and with you knowing, the house may become “sale agreed”.

By asking your estate agent the above questions can help you make a better decision when it comes to choosing your new home. If you haven’t gotten this far yet, take a look at our guide on How to Get a Mortgage in Ten Simple Steps and How to Use an AIB Mortgage Calculator. For more information, visit the AIB Mortgages website today.

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is an authorised agent and servicer of AIB Mortgage Bank in relation to origination and servicing of mortgage loans and mortgages. AIB Mortgage Bank is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.