What Questions to Ask Property Sellers

July 19, 2009 in Property Investment by Kez

After doing all the hard work in setting up the property buying advertisements, distributing the leaflets, erecting the banners, running a website campaign to attract motivated sellers and your phone starts buzzing, now is the time to reap all the benefits of your efforts. When you get a call from the seller, it is important to ask the seller the questions which matter. This article sheds light on five of the most important questions you need to ask the seller in order make sure that the property investment deal you are potentially taking on is right for you.


It is quite obvious that the first thing you will need to ask are the sellers personal details such as name and other particulars so for when you to address them both during the conversation now and the future; these questions fall under the category of common sense questions, but this article will be discussing some other more significant questions.


  • To start with you need to know the exact location of the property and the general surroundings. Asking the exact address, the type of property (terrace, detached…) number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garden and garage and other similar information from the seller is important. Another question to ask is how close are the amenities such as the nearest shopping centre, schools, transport etc. Your goal should be to squeeze out as much information as possible.
  • You must also address questions based on the actual state of the property. You must put direct questions to the seller about the possible repairs needed to the house. You can gain a better understanding by learning when the last time the house was upgraded. Your special attention must be directed towards, roof, windows, flooring, boiler and heating, bathrooms, electric wiring and plumbing in the house.
  • It is also imperative to learn the basic motive behind the offer to sell the house. You should try to extract the true reasons from the seller, by being frank and going into details. The most commonly given reason is need for money, but to be honest this is not always the real reason. For instance, if the buyer says that he requires instant cash to pay off an impending debt, then this sounds much more realistic. The reason why you need to insist on knowing the real reason is that you do not want to get into any unnecessary hassle that may emerge later on after the purchase of your buy to let property.

Asking the reason for the sale will also help you assess the degree of motivation by the seller. A seller who is on the verge of repossession is likely to be much more motivated and hence likely to offer a better price than someone who is simply looking to move for upgrading their house. So pay particular attention to this part to avoid wasting time chasing the unmotivated seller who may end up wasting your time with a bad price and even changing his mind.

  • Now comes the part where you learn about the financing of the property. You need to know about the loan balance of the house, if any, while you must also enquire whether the loans or taxes are done with or not. Putting across queries about the 1st, 2nd and possible 3rd mortgage amounts is also essential. The more you learn about the financing of the house, the more informed you will be to know what offer the seller actually needs to make the sale possible.
  • As already touched on above, you can check the motivation levels of the sellers by offering to pay the purchase amount of the house in cash. You can ask the property seller to lower the price of the property on the grounds that you offer to pay wholly in cash. If the seller is in need of a quick transaction then, it is more than likely that he will lower his price, giving you the house at a cheaper price.


It is always worth remembering that no matter how direct or demanding the question is, you need to be polite and courteous in your manners. These feelings can only be generated if you keep in mind that you are there to help the seller get out of his or her financial woes. By putting across these questions, you will weed out any unmotivated sellers

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