5 Questions to Ask Property Agent When Buying an Apartment

Having an apartment can be a reasonable solution to avoid traffic jams and shorten distance between office and home, especially for people who work in big cities like Jakarta.

When decide to buy an apartment, we'd better avoid advertising and promotions related to the property, but focus on preparing questions for the property agent that serves as a "middleman" between us and the developer or real estate company which builds the construction. At a glance, these questions seem so trivial that many people tend to overlook them. 

1. What facilities can be found around the area?

Not everyone buys an apartment to live in. For those who want to invest, it is better to ask about the facilities around the location, e.g.  school, shopping centers or mallgym, hospital, access to major roads and the distance to reach public transportation.

"Commercial areas and central business district are definitely potential spots (for investment)," said Haryanto, owner of a property agent in West Jakarta.   

2. What kind of buyers is the development attracting?

According to Haryanto, understanding the market segment of a property would be useful to determine the best  apartment to buy. For example, CBD and commercial areas will be promising for rent out because there is a bigger chance that expatriates and executives would want to stay in those areas. This will tell you the likely neighbors you will get or what kind of tenats you are likely to get.

"Meanwhile, a neighborhood located near shopping centers will attract buyers (to live in)," he said.     

3. What about the design and quality of furniture? 

apartemen full furnishedThis question applies to an old apartment that has been refurbished or a new one that is fully furnished. The knowledge would be your "weapon" in price negotiation.

“If the apartment is poorly designed or furnished with poor quality materials, we need to renovate it. That means additional costs," said Adit, 32, who bought an apartment for himself two years ago.  

For those who buy a new apartment before its construction starts, it would be better to visit a unit sample to observe the specifications of furniture and every brand used in the plan. Ask for a possibility to choose your own design and furniture.  

4. Will it need to be renovated?

Before buying a re-sale property, you might want to ask which parts of the apartment are currently broken or in desperate need of  renovation. This also means making sure if there is any structural damage such as water leakage, cracks on wall, etc. Check for areas where they re-painted walls –it may be a sign of where flooding occurs.

“If we don't want to ask, we can see the unit and observe things that are broken and need to be fixed," Adit said.

If this is not enough, you can also ask the neighbors within the area. This is important so that you can anticipate any problems that may occur in the future.  

5. Who lives around your apartment?

Getting to know the profile of tenants around your unit is important because these are the people you would meet every now and then. You surely want to live in a neighborhood that makes you feel safe and comfortable.  

“Let's say the majority of tenants in that apartment are young people or college students, it would be less comfortable for us who need some peace and quiet," said Adit, who prefers to buy an apartment near business district.

There are no questions too simple to ask. Whenever you feel too shy to ask, remind yourself that you are a buyer and you surely do not want to get lost.

Read more: 4 Things to Know Before Renting Out Your Property

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