If you are considering buying a new house, there are endless questions that run through your mind. You want to make sure the house you are viewing is exactly what it seems and you are purchasing the house that works best for your needs. Asking the right questions will ensure you are making the right decision. This article will discuss all the important questions you should be asking your realtor when thinking about purchasing a new property.
What Questions Should I Ask Before I go View the house?
Before you go take a live tour of the house, you should consult with your realtor to find out specific information about the home you will view. A realtor will know an extensive background of the home and be able to answer any initial questions you have before the tour. It is also a good idea to consult with a realtor before physically going to view the house so they can save you the trouble if the house has anything you absolutely are not looking for. If there are too many red flags before you even go see the property, it’s not even worth it to continue to seek out that specific property.
What Questions Should I Ask About the Listing?
One thing important to discuss with your realtor before you go tour the property is the background about the property listed. You should be aware of how long the property has been listed and all the prices associated with the listing. Price increases or reductions can show if there has been a lot of interest in the property or if not many people seem to be concerned with it. Changes in the price can also indicate any problems on the property. If the price has seemed to reduce significantly since it has been listed on the market, then issues with the property have probably become more apparent after it has been listed.
A realtor will also be able to figure out those specific problems that could be impacting the property from selling. If a property has been sitting since it has been listed, a realtor can contact the owners or anyone involved in the listing and figure out what specific problems are keeping that house from being sold. Some common things that turn away buyers are repairs needed for the home, the layout of the property, the location, and a busy or noisy street. Additionally, the realtor can figure out if the home was just overpriced, to begin with. If you come to that conclusion, your realtor can get the owners to lower the price if it is a property you are interested in purchasing.
A realtor can also figure out if the listing price of the property is comparable to others in the area. You want to make sure the property you are looking at is not priced higher than the same properties in the area as then you would be paying more than you had to for a property. It is important to consider the prices of the surrounding properties as it helps give you an understanding of how much you should be paying for your property.
Before you go view a listing, you should also ask your realtor how old the property is. This could contribute to the price you ask for if you go to purchase the property. If the property is an older home, it is much more likely there are interior problems that may be the current owners don’t even know about. There also could be many repairs needed though the house that will end up costing more than you expect after you purchase the house. If the property is newer, it may be listed for a higher price as it does not need as many repairs as an older property would. Additionally, a realtor will tell you the vacancy status of the property. They can find out if there are currently people living there or if the property has been vacant for quite some time.
Here is a list of questions to review with your realtor before you go view a property:
- How old is this property and what is the vacancy status?
- How long has this property been on the market?
- How is the asking price of this property compared to similar listings in the area?
- Have there been significant price increases or decreases in the asking price?
- What is the area around the property like? Busy streets? Noisy neighborhood?
- Does this property need any significant repairs?
What Questions Should I Ask About the Sellers?
After you discuss all the questions about the property itself with your realtor, you should ask some questions about the sellers themselves. A realtor would be able to answer questions regarding prior offers to the house and the status of how the house could sell. These sorts of questions are important as it helps a buyer understand how the selling process may go. If the sellers have had many offers on the house below the listing price and have declined, it would show they are pretty set on receiving at least their asking price for the property. On the other end, if the sellers keep lowering the price it could show that they are desperate to sell the property. This would show they would likely be quick to negotiate and sell the property.
Asking your realtor about the sellers could also help paint a picture of how likely the sellers are to accept contingencies. Common contingencies seen between sellers and buyers may be financing, insurance inspections, inspection discovery, or an appraisal. Your realtor would be able to get a feeling as if the steelers would be open to such contingencies.
Here is a list of questions to review with your realtor about the sellers:
- Why are the current owners selling this property?
- Have there been any offers on the property? Have the owners accepted or rejected those offers?
- Would the owners accept contingencies? If not, which ones won’t they accept?
- Are there certain contingencies the seller would require? Which ones?
- What incentives are the sellers offering?
What Questions Should I Ask At an Open House?
If you have asked the realtor all the questions above and are still interested in purchasing the property, it is time to go physically tour the property. Here, it is likely a realtor will meet you there to take you through the property. You should ask whatever agent you meet at the property if they had been the ones you talked to prior to coming to the property. Sometimes, real estate agencies will send other agents or colleges to open houses. This could change the amount of information they know about the home and how they answer your questions.
Once you establish what listing agent you are talking to, you should ask for the list of property disclosures. This could help give a perspective as to if there are any issues to be aware of. If the property was built before 1978, make sure to confirm there were no hazardous materials involved in building the home. Additionally, ask for the hazardous material test results. If the current owners haven’t gotten these tests yet, be prepared for these tests to add some expenses if you purchase the property. You should negotiate with the agent about lowering the price of the property in order to have the money to get those tests done or confirm that those results will be available before you purchase the property. Below are some examples of tests the property should have done before you think about purchasing it:
- Lead Paint Test: Costs an average of $320
- Radon Testing: Costs an average of $450
- Soil Testing: Costs between $30-$600
- Mold Testing: Costs between $200-$300
- Asbestos Testing: Costs around $500
Here is a list of overall questions you should ask the listing agent at the time of viewing the open house:
- What tests have been done on the property? Mold, Asbestos, lead?
- Does this property have flood insurance? If so, what type?
- How old are the HVAC and plumbing systems in the home?
- When was the roof last replaced?
- Did the previous owners have any pets?
- Have the previous owners done any upgrades or renovations?
- How much are utilities on average?
- Is the wash water sewer or septic?
- Can I see the property disclosure?
- Is this property in a flood zone?
What Questions Should I Ask in Every Room in a Property?
As you are walking through the open house with the agent, you should ask different questions based on the rooms you are viewing. This can help you get a general understanding of what work needs to be done in each room.
Questions for living spaces such as common rooms and bedrooms:
- How long ago were the rooms painted?
- How old are the windows? Are they treated?
- How old is the carpet? Is there flooring underneath?
- Were there any renovations to these spaces?
Questions for the kitchen:
- How old are the appliances? Will any need to be replaced? Are they included?
- Were there any water repairs? Or any existing water issues?
- Any major repairs?
Questions for the bathroom:
- When was the last time this space was renovated?
- Are there any water issues?
- How is the water pressure?
Questions for the basement:
- Have there any been any issues with mold? Any water leaks?
- Does this property have a sump pump? When was the last time it was inspected?
- Is everything up to code?
Questions for the exterior ( Yard, and Landscaping):
- Where does the water drain away from the house?
- Where is the property line?
- Has there ever been a problem with pests? What has been done to take care of it?
- What are the yard fixtures? Are they functional?
- What sort of sun exposure does the yard get in the summer and winter?
- Do the previous owners use a lawn care service? How much does it cost?
What Questions Should I Ask About the Neighborhood?
After you ask your agent all questions regarding the property itself, you may want to ask some questions about the neighborhood to get a feel about if it sounds like somewhere you would feel comfortable in. Your realtor can tell you how busy the neighborhood is and what surrounding attractions there are that would elevate the business of the neighborhood. You want to make sure you have everything you are looking for surrounding your property. This could be restaurants, shops, grocery stores, parks, medical facilities, and entertainment attractions.
Additionally, if you have children you should be asking about the schools in the surrounding area. You want to ensure there are good and safe schools for your children to attend. It also may be a good idea to ask about the crime in the area as well. This could impact the safety of the neighborhood and the schools.
Here is a list of questions to ask your agent about the neighborhood:
- What attractions are in the area? Parks? Entertainment?
- Are there restaurants close by?
- How are the schools in the neighborhood?
- What is the crime like in this area?
- Is there a medical facility close by?
What Questions Should I Ask Myself?
After you have asked every question you can think of to your realtor, you then have to ask yourself if this property seems like a good fit for all your needs. In the end, you must be comfortable with the property you are purchasing and ensure it has everything you are looking for.
You should ask yourself:
- Are there enough outlets in each room?
- Are there any updates I would need to make?
- Is my cell reception good in the area?
- Will my existing furniture fit in these spaces?
When thinking about purchasing any property, you should come prepared with questions to ensure you know everything about the property you can know before purchasing it. Make sure to ask the listing agent about the property itself, the exterior of the property, and the neighborhood. You want all of your questions to be asked before making a decision. Mashvior specializes in finding the best properties to invest in for your area.
To learn more about how Mashvisor can help you find profitable investment properties, schedule a demo.