Questions to ask at an open home that can save you money!

An open home is the perfect opportunity to gather valuable information about a property you’re looking to purchase.  By asking the right questions, you’ll be able to determine exactly what you think the property is worth and place your offers accordingly to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.

Here are the 3 best questions you can ask the listing agent in order to get the most useful information and potentially save yourself thousands:

  1. How long has the property been on the market?

This is a very important question because it can let you whether you need to act fast or it can indicate whether you have more bargaining power.  If a home is recently listed and there is a lot of interest, you might want to act faster so you don’t miss out.  On the other hand, if a property has been on the market for a long time, you need to find out why.  Most commonly this is because of price, but there might be other underlying issues as well. For example, there could be major issues with the property that aren’t apparent to the naked eye like:

  • Is it located in a flood zone?
  • Is there structural damage?
  • Is it heritage listed making possible renovations difficult?

These issues can be expensive for the buyer to undertake so finding out before you make an offer can help you negotiate a fair price if you still want to purchase.

  1. Why are the owners selling?

The answer to this question can help in many different ways.  If the agent seems reluctant to say why, it may mean that the sellers want to leave because they feel the area is dangerous, inconvenient or perhaps there have been recent council changes in zoning that will change the neighbourhood etc.

Alternatively, if they are selling in due to an unforeseen circumstance and, you may be able to get a great price in return for a fast sale.

  1. Has there been a recent building and pest inspection done on the property?

If there is a building and pest inspection report provided, make sure to look at it carefully.  Issues such as structural damage or termites can cost thousands to fix so it’s crucial you know what you are getting into before purchasing.  The knowledge a good report can provide can give you great insight into what the property is worth.

If there is no report provided, make sure to get an inspection done before purchasing – especially if the house is going to auction.  Houses that are sold at auction are unconditional.  This means they are not subject to a cooling off period or building and pest clause so it’s important to go in prepared with the information.  The last thing you’d want is to purchase a home at auction for a premium price, only to find out later that there is $50,000 worth of termite damage to fix!


If you need an independent pre-purchase building and pest inspection done, contact APM Solutions directly on (07) 3828 2020 or via email at for a FREE quote today.  Mention this post and receive 10% off your first inspection!

5 things people forget to consider when buying a house

Buying a home can be one of the most exciting, stressful, overwhelming and important moments of someone’s life.  There is often so much involved, people get caught up in the process and lose focus of the important things.  If you’re interested in the buying a home, whether now or in the future, to live in or for investment, make sure you give careful consideration to the following things:

Hidden Costs

When looking for a home, people tend to focus on the price of the house and the amount they can borrow.  Many buyers forget to factor in the additional costs that come up when purchasing a property.  These might include things like:

  • stamp duty
  • agent fees
  • lawyer fees
  • lenders mortgage insurance
  • building and pest inspections

The list could go on!

It is also equally as important to consider the costs that come with owning the home you’re wanting to purchase.  Mortgage repayments are only one aspect.  Things like:

  • Council Rates
  • Utility bills
  • Body corporate fees
  • Insurance
  • Maintenance
  • Renovations etc.

can add up quickly so make sure you take everything into consideration when planning your finances.

What is the neighbourhood like? 

While most people think this is something to do after you move, talking to the neighbours of a property you want to purchase is a great way to get a feel of the area.  You can find out things like:

  •  If there are neighbourhood disputes or everyone gets along
  • Whether it’s relatively noisy or quiet street
  • If there has been any recent crime or if it’s a problem free zone etc.

Location, Location, Location!

Depending on your needs, requirements for location will vary.  Prioritise what’s important to you before you begin looking and have those factors firm in your mind.   How important is its proximity to things like:

  • Shopping centres
  • Grocery stores
  • Cafes
  • Schools
  • Public transport

Is it okay to drive to those areas or do you need to be able to walk?  Is there sufficient parking around the property?   These small factors that are often overlooked can create a lot of difficulty after you move in if not thoroughly considered beforehand.

Cosmetic vs Crucial

Don’t be dissuaded by things like paint colours, décor and simple fittings.  The colour of the rooms can be changed easily but the floor plan can cost tens of thousands in renovation costs.  If the shower fittings aren’t to your liking, that’s okay, but the water pressure available might be harder to change.  Conversely, a home that might look amazing at first glance could still have major problems below the surface.  That is why it is important to get professional inspectors to survey the property before you purchase.  Always make sure to keep an open and mind and a sharp eye when looking for a home.


Once you purchase a home, there is usually a cooling off period of a specified time (usually 5 days).  Within that time there will also be an allocated amount of time to get things done like pre-purchase building and pest inspections, environmental checks, susceptibility to flooding etc.  This is usually around 5-7 days.  Make sure you are aware of these time frames and organise yourself enough time to get the inspection done receive the report and think about your decision or have enough time to do any further investigations if necessary.