More often enough I find the average buyer to be uneducated when it comes to purchasing property. Fair enough when the average human in Australia only transacts in property 3 times in a lifetime. However this is not only for those new to property market - even experienced purchasers, developers and investors don't necessarily ask the right questions.
The obvious questions that everyone goes too is price. Great question generally but it must be said this should be one of the last questions. Why? Simple, the price can be determined on a number of different situations. For me the following questions should be asked prior to price:
1. Why is the vendor selling? This will give you a clearer picture of the seller and more so if they are motivated to sell.
2. What are the settlement terms? Again sometimes if the seller is looking for a quick sale they will take a reduction in price.
3. Has there been a lot of interest in the property? If no interest, than again more motivated to sell - giving the purchaser a little more power in the negotiation process.
4. Has there been any offers on the property? Its amazing the lack of people asking this question. Remember as a selling agent, they are wanting to sell however if an offer has already been on the table its very rare the agent will tell a purchaser unless asked. This means that someone has shown interest below what the seller is looking for. Again this can show where the vendor is at and most important what price they would consider.
5. Lastly, what price is the vendor looking at? Sometimes with this question you need to be more specific. A smart and educated agent will give you a price guide or range. If you ask directly you are trying to see what exact price the vendor will sell at. This is a lot easily said than done, however again you have no harm in asking.
If anything these questions will set a clearer understanding from the seller and more importantly give you more information on your next move. Whether you want to start negotiating or give the property a miss - now that is up to you.