Essential Questions to Ask When House Hunting
Whether it’s your first time buying a home or you have completed many real estate transactions, there are essential questions to ask during every house hunting experience. From questions before seeing the house, during the tour and post-tour, ensuring you ask the correct questions will result in the most efficient homebuying experience. The answers to these questions help you make the most educated decision about your pending real estate transaction. Read on for the most important questions when you’re house hunting.
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE SEEING THE PROPERTY
How long has the property been on the market?
If the home has been on the market for a long time, there may be underlying issues with the house that have prevented it from selling. A home that has been on the market for a while may also have a more motivated seller. If the home is new on the market, you may need to prepare your offer quickly.
What are the area’s home comparables?
Your real estate agent should know the area’s home comps to guide you on if the home is appropriately priced. It’s helpful to educate yourself on these comps, so you can feel confident that the home’s you’re looking at are priced correctly.
Have natural disasters impacted the home?
It’s important to know if the home is in a flood zone or at risk for other natural disasters, such as if the area is known for experiencing tornadoes or hurricanes.
Is there a homeowners’ association?
While a homeowners’ association can offer many benefits, such as a sense of community and ensuring the neighborhood’s aesthetic value, there are rules and regulations that the homeowners must follow, including restrictions on what you can and can’t do to the property.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN VIEWING A HOME
What comes with the property?
Just because a fixture is in the house when you view it doesn’t mean it will be there when it’s time for the seller to leave. There are some fixtures that a seller may choose to take with them, so it’s essential to be clear on what will remain. While fixtures such as faucets and hardware typically stay, it’s an important point to clarify. Other items, such as light fixtures, window treatments, appliances and playsets, may leave with the seller.
How old is the roof and the heating and cooling system?
The roof and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) are significant expenses to replace. Therefore, knowing the age of the roof and HVAC system will be helpful when you craft your offer.
How will you live in the house?
Take note of the airflow, natural light, lighting capabilities, flow of the layout, size of the bedrooms and where the existing laundry area is. While a contractor can change all of these elements, it’s a more significant undertaking than cosmetic work, such as painting or replacing the countertops.
QUESTIONS TO ASK AFTER YOU’VE SEEN THE HOUSE
Have there been any offers on the home?
When you’re negotiating an offer, it’s helpful to know the other types of offers that have been extended. This knowledge can help determine how competitive your offer needs to be.
What is the seller’s time frame?
The faster the seller needs to sell means the more advantage you have. A seller with an urgent timeline may be more flexible on price and be more willing to negotiate. If the seller doesn’t have a critical timeline, they may be less flexible with negotiations.