Alex Starkie Pearson Ferrier

 When you are looking around a house, you might already be questioning the choice of wallpaper in the lounge or the overgrown garden, but what are the most important questions? Alex Starkie, Branch Manager for Pearson Ferrier Preston, reveals the list of top ten questions he is asked while showing houses.

1.What is the area like?

This is a great question to start with. Location, location, location, as they say. It is important to find out whether there are local amenities near-by like shops or cafes so that you can consider how your social life would be impacted. Similarly, finding out what the neighbours are like is a good idea, especially in an attached house.

Depending on your family plans, you might also want to ask about local Schools and catchment areas.

2.What is parking like?

Parking space competition varies a lot throughout the day so what you see at your viewing may not be representative of the rest of the day. You may need a residents parking permit.

3.Why is the current owner selling?

In other words, what has this property failed to achieve for its owner? It might be something simple like relocation for work but this is an opportunity to find out whether there is another reason.

4.Are there any nasty surprises?

This is an important question. Just like parking, you may not be able to see that the garden often floods in the winter or that there’s mould behind the wallpaper. Finding out now means that you can plan for later, or even realise that this house isn’t really for you.

5.Does any work need doing?

There are very few houses that will be perfect straight off the shelf. Most will want a lick of paint in your favourite colour at least. Asking if work needs doing and asking about a quote for that work will help you to work out whether the house is worth the investment. Sometimes it can be cheaper to get a house that needs a bit of work and get your own quotes than a house that has been ‘done’. And you get the opportunity to make sure that everything is perfect for you.

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6.Where is the water metre cupboard?

This is a question I get asked all the time. A better question is whether the water is on a metre or on mains. You might also like to ask about the boiler, the hob and the oven to find out whether they are gas or electric.

7.Is there room for an extension?

And is there planning permission already? Sometimes to get the space you want in the location you want you have to think about an extension. Go into the garden and look at the space the property has to offer and consider the effect of building. You might also want to consider a loft conversion or a garage conversion depending on the type of property.

8.What is the Wifi connection like?

You may not realise it now, but a slow connection could quickly become a regular problem especially if you’re out in the sticks.

And what is the phone signal like? There is nothing more frustrating than only getting mobile reception in an awkward corner of your house. Ask about the dominant mobile server in the area you plan to move to.

10 Good Questions to ask Estate Agents

9.How old is the property?

The age of a property can give you a clue about what might need repairing or replacing in the coming years. It will also give an indication of what the insulation might be like and which planning regulations may apply if you want to extend.

10.Is there any movement on the price?

An important question if you are pushing your budget. Making an offer on a house is essentially about finding a number that suits both the vendor and the buyer. The vendor may be more inclined to move the price for all sorts of reasons so it’s worth asking especially if the property has been on the market for a while. The worst that can happen here is that the vendor just says ‘no’.

To speak to Alex about buying, letting or selling a property in Preston, give him a call on 01772 924 914

Or send him an email at preston@pearsonferrier.co.uk