Key questions to ask when buying off-plan

Key questions to ask when buying off-plan

Buying off-plan can be an excellent way of buying a property below its true market value but there are pitfalls. Many first-time investors fail to ask key questions when buying off-plan so here are 4 questions we think you should definitely ask:

  1. How secure is your deposit?– your deposit is normally around 10% of the asking price and it should be paid to the developer’s solicitor who will hold it in a separate account. Generally, in schemes such as NHBC or LABC, only the first 10% of the deposit is protected. If your deposit is more than 10% then ask your solicitor to find out if there is any additional cover.
  2. When will the property be completed? – this is clearly something that you need to know so that you know when you can move in or rent it out and start making money. Find out if there are any clauses that penalise the developer if they are late with completion. Look for clauses that give you the option to walk away if the developer doesn’t complete in time and get your deposit back.
  3. Will the layout be the same as the showhome? – will your property be identical to the showhome or will the layout differ? Find out how the property you’re buying differs from the showhome and ask about whether the overall finish, fixture, fittings etc will be the same. The beauty of buying off-plan is that you can influence the final look of your property and have more room to negotiate.
  4. What’s included in the price? – always find out exactly what’s included in the price so that you know for sure that there are no hidden fees. If you intend to rent the property out ask about rental guarantees as well. Many developers offer these.

Always look for developers with a good track of completing on time before you embark on buying off-plan so remember, do your homework!