Purchasing a home may be daunting. Open inspections can also be stressful since they are often intimidating; real estate agents are rushing, and there are throngs of buyers to deal with.
However, by working with a real estate agent and asking questions, you can guarantee that the home is a suitable fit for you and your family. When you’ve got the agent’s focus and attention, make sure to ask these important questions.
How long has the house been on the market?
The seller will be more eager to make a deal if the house has been on the market for a long time. As a result, you may be able to negotiate the price, terms, contingencies, and credits for repairing old flooring or other visible defects.
A home will remain on the market if it was initially overpriced, forcing multiple price reductions. Multiple price reductions on a listing that has been on the market for a long period may give buyers the sense that something is wrong with it.
As a result, you’ll have a great chance to work out a deal.
How much have homes sold for in the neighborhood?
Understanding the current local market will assist you in determining whether a seller’s asking price is reasonable – or overpriced. As a basis for comparison, your realtor can gather comparable listing data for similar houses that are currently on the market and have sold in the recent six months or so.
Why is the seller leaving?
Know why the seller is transferring or moving – whether it’s due to the recession, a job transfer, or a major life event – can help you determine how motivated they are when it comes to negotiating.
A smart buyer’s agent will strive to find out this information for you and assess the seller’s willingness to negotiate. A motivated seller who needs to sell fast or whose house has been on the market for some time is more likely to work with you than someone who isn’t.
What’s included in the sale?
Faucets, cabinets, and window blinds are examples of fixtures that are usually included when purchasing a home. However, there may be items in the home that you believe are included but aren’t.
This is determined by the laws of your state. The seller’s exclusions should be specified in the listing description; however, this isn’t always the case.
Are there any health or safety hazards?
Radon, lead paint, mold, and other severe risks can be expensive to fix and delay your loan approval. If there have been previous concerns, request documentation from the vendor and learn exactly what was done to remedy them.
You may have to pay extra for specialized services if you detect hazardous concerns or if a home inspector recommends additional testing, such as radon testing.
Were there any additions or major renovations?
Listing descriptions and property records don’t always match up in some cases. For example, a home may be advertised as having three bedrooms, one of them may be a non-conforming extension that does not comply with local building codes.
Ask the original manufacturer warranties on any appliances or systems that have been changed, and find out what major renovations or repairs the seller has done since owning the home. Knowing the history of a home’s improvements might help you better assess its condition and comprehend the seller’s asking price.
How often has the property been sold?
If the house has been on and off the market several times in the last ten years, it could indicate that the owners found a problem with the house. It could be the location, the surrounding area, or the house itself.
Check with your realtor to verify how frequently the house has been moved out of, and if the number seems unusually high, ask why.
How old is the roof?
Roofs are both necessary and costly. If a home’s roof has reached the end of its lifespan and you have to replace it soon after moving in, you’ll have to pay thousands of dollars.
If the roof’s age isn’t listed in the listing description, find out as soon as possible to avoid a costly issue in the future.
Is the home prone to natural disasters or flood zone?
Additional insurance coverage may be required if the property is located in a flood zone or other natural disaster location. For example, homes in a federally designated high-risk flood zone must have flood insurance. Similarly, if you’re buying a home in an earthquake-prone area, earthquake insurance may be.
Another suggestion: Get enough homeowners insurance to cover the expense of entirely reconstructing your home if it is damaged. If you’re underinsured, you could be stuck with a hefty repair or rebuilding price if a severe calamity strikes.