Buying a property as an investment is different to getting it to live in it yourself. Estate agents know a lot about the property market and local activities. They play a key role in selecting and buying property for investing. As an investor, you need to take advantage of their extensive knowledge by asking them the right questions to get the most useful information. See below, some essential questions to ask an estate agent when you’re out and about.
What is the neighborhood like?
This is a great question to start the conversation. Asking this question allows the agent to tell you everything they know about the area and amenities around. Through this question, they’ll most likely highlight the smallest details which can make a big difference later on.
What kind of strategies work best in this neighborhood?
Before asking about strategies in the area, you need to be clear on what your investment goals are and which strategies will help you accomplish them. Areas differ according to the interest of the people and the local economic activities. In certain areas like mining towns rentals perform better while flips perform well in older, affordable suburbs starter families are attracted to.
How long does it take for properties to sell in this area?
As an investor, make sure to always ask this because then the agent can help you get an idea of the timeframe required to accomplish your goal. Then the next time you buy in the same area again, you will at least be able to estimate how long it might take to sell or rent out another similar property. Note that the type of property and its price also affects the time it will take to sell.
How much do similar properties sell or rent out for?
Before you set up an amount you would charge to rent or sell, research how much other properties in the area go for. The last thing you want is to charge too expensively, lose potential tenants or buyers and then be forced to pay the mortgages of an investment property with your own money. A property that pays for itself from day one is a better investment than one that will first appreciate in value before makes money.
What kind of people buy or rent properties in this area?
To ensure that your marketing efforts are matched by interest, you must be aware of the dominant group of buyers that rent or buy in a certain area. In areas where there are some universities or colleges students will dominate that area. Some of them will be interested in renting out accommodation and in this case a multi-let is the best strategy to execute.
What are some of the most common things tenants are interested in?
After being exposed to buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants and sometimes leasing companies estate agents always have an archive of information to set you on course. They have heard complains, seen dissatisfaction and can tell you what tenants want and don’t want. Some tenants prefer using their own gate to access their rental space on the owner’s property, others prefer renting out the space with other families so that the rent is divided between two or three families.
Are there any new developments that will take place in this area?
To plan for the long-term, ask them about any upcoming projects in the area such as a new mall, university or hospital that might be built. Once you know what future projects will take place you can further verify this information. Learning about future projects early will help you take advantage of being the earliest bird to catch the fattest worm. Prepare now, seize the opportunity later.
Also, see HERE specific questions to ask the estate agents when asking for deals during present climate.
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