Moving home generally involves the need to discover all that you can about the new neighbourhood – perhaps one that is in a completely different part of the country. To help you familiarise yourself with your new surroundings, an estate agent may prove an invaluable source of information. But there is still a great deal of research that you might want to undertake for yourself.
The estate agent’s role
The estate agent may be there to help you, of course, but it is important to remember that his principal reason for offering that help and advice is to secure a sale on behalf of his client, the vendor.
As the buyer, you are likely to approach estate agents in your chosen area in order to view those properties you might be interested in buying. If there is a potential sale involved, then of course any self-respecting estate agent is likely to do everything in their power to help you view that property.
Nevertheless, there is a great deal of research that you can do for yourself about any given property, its location and the surrounding area. This might prove invaluable background information that saves you wasting your own time (and that of the estate agent’s) on viewing properties in which you are unlikely to have any real interest.
If you have any intention of buying a home, of course you will want to see it – and there are a few points you might wish to bear in mind when you ask the estate agent to arrange one or more viewings:
• Don’t be rushed, but take your time – if you need to make a repeat viewing on a different day, don’t be afraid to ask;
• Since the estate agent accompanying you is there to help you (and to secure a sale on behalf of the vendor), ask whatever questions you need to ask – however direct or blunt the questions need to be;
• Arranging to view a property during daylight hours is likely to give you a clearer picture of its condition, location and general ambience;
• You might want to take along with you someone else – perhaps with different tastes and perspectives – who can ask the questions you hadn’t thought to ask;
• Although you may have been given every opportunity to look around the property, avoid feeling pressured by the estate agent into making an offer;
• You may well have a host of questions which still need to be answered – either by the estate agent or by the vendors themselves;
• Only when you feel that all of your questions have been reasonably answered should you consider making an offer, via the estate agent, for the purchase of the property.