6 Things to Ask the Property Agent When Buying a New Property?
6 Things to Ask the Property Agent When Buying a New Property?
What are the top 6 things to ask the property agent when buying a new property in Malaysia?
The most important things to ask the agent when buying a new property are price, developer information, fixtures & fittings, nearby future developments, nearby amenities and target completion date.
It’s important to always remember these 6 things, especially for those who have never bought a piece of property before.
Each of these things will help you make the best decision on your property purchase. The agent is there for you to do precisely this, so don’t shy away from asking absolutely everything you need know.
This should come as a no brainer as it holds the largest amount of weight in determining your decision.
You should always find out key pricing factors such as:
1. Cost per square foot
2. Booking fee
5. Maintenance Fees
6. Freehold or Leasehold
Make sure to have a sit down with the agent after you cover everything else, so he/she can go over with you the total upkeep of the property. During this time make sure to find out the monthly loan repayments (the agents will normally go over this right at the end after they’ve shown you everything else), so you can devise a way to manage your commitment ahead of time.
Have them write it all down on a piece of paper for you, so you can take a picture or take it home with you for reference.
It’s also good when asking about price to ask about rental rates. See what the agent has to say about the rental rates but always make sure to confirm this by doing a quick survey online at propertyguru or iproperty just to make sure.
You should also take a look at short-term rental rates in the area by checking Airbnb or booking.com room and occupancy rates. Or you can check these figures on AirDNA.co for the most accurate Airbnb specific data.
2. Developer Information
This is even one that from time to time I have forgotten myself.
It’s very important to make sure that you find out who the project developer is and what other projects they have completed before.
It’s safest to go with a more renowned developer who has numerous projects already under their belt.
Going for a developer with limited experience in the property development space can be very risky. There are chances of you facing delays in the handover process or even have the chance of the project being abandoned altogether.
It’ll be good to ask them specifics about projects already completed and find out when they were completed and their names. You should then head over to Property Talk at Low Yat Forums and then see what the discussion on the units is like and also post any questions that you might have.
This way, you’ll be able to know how successful their past projects were and if the units had any issues such as development defects, occupancy issues and even how they handled the JMB handover.
All this info will give you a better idea on whether or not you can trust the developer to deliver what they promise.
3. Fixtures & Fittings
Make sure to clarify which fixtures and fittings in the showroom come with the unit.
The showroom will often be designed with a lot of excess furniture to enhance the overall look of the unit to entice buyers to seal the deal.
Just find out from the agent which parts do indeed come with the unit and which don’t. Also make sure to double check the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) when it comes the time for you to sign that it tallies exactly with whatever the agent told you.
Many a time even the agent will make a mistake on this, so it’s very important that you check the SPA to see that everything that was promised to you is inside the agreement. You’ll also want to get screenshot of the message in writing from the agent, so if they had indeed promised you certain things, that they are in fact being provided.
In one of my recent purchases, I had not realised that certain things that I thought were included actually weren’t upon looking at the SPA close to the handover date. Though disappointing, I only have myself to blame!
Don’t make the same mistake I have.
4. Future Developments
Always remember to find out from the agent whether there are empty plots of land around and if there is a future chance of a new development coming up nearby.
This can be especially important in finding out if your view will be blocked and who you’ll be competing with for tenants and resale further down the road. You wouldn’t want to have your beautiful KL city view blocked by the tower of another condo shortly after you get your keys.
There have been multiple cases of this taking place and more often than not it is the developer themselves that build the new development next to their old one and block the view of the old purchasers!
I do not know why developers continue to do this and disappoint previous buyers just so they can maximise their potential on their new projects.
Always be wary of your unblocked view if there is a huge plot of land right in front of the development. Be prepared for your view not to last. Even if you’re on a very high floor.
What amenities are nearby is probably the most natural question that gets asked.
Everyone wants to know what the property is equipped with and what the surrounding area is like.
Is there a Gym?
What about a swimming pool?
How far is the nearest supermarket or MRT line?
Transportation options are something very important to check on. Especially, if there are upcoming plans in a few years down the road. This can have a significant effect on the property’s value. It will also make a difference on how easy it will be to get tenants or not.
Another important thing that isn’t exactly an amenity that is important is checking on the unit density of the development.
You’ll need to find out exactly how many units there are in total across the development as this will have an impact on the future maintenance fees and also on the difficulty in securing tenants.
This number will be key in understanding the type of competition that you will have in renting out your unit whether it is through long-term or short-term rental.
Also, be sure to find out the number of car park lots and what the cost might be for an additional lot.
6. Completion Date
You will want to be certain about this as it’s not always told truthfully to you.
The automatic answer will normally be 24 months from the time you ask.
Try to get the info from the agent the exact date that will be stated in the Sales and Purchase Agreement and not the expected completion date. This will often differ greatly and the expected completion date could be years off from what the agent will tell you and what will be printed in the SPA.
You’ll only be paid LAD or Liquidated and ascertained damages for delays based on the SPA date that is given.
Also be sure to take note of how many months they have to complete it from the signing date. It’s assumed that it should be up to 36 months but there are contracts that have it saying up to 48 months!
Something like this can definitely throw you off your plans, so be sure to find this out for certain before you put any pen to paper.
All these 6 things to ask the property agent when buying a new property will help ensure that you make the best decision on your property purchase. It’s important to get everything you can out of the agent while at the showroom. Also, be sure to take their card so that you can contact them for anything else that comes to mind or in case you forget to ask them any of the above.