Questions to ask before purchasing your home:
- How long has the house been on the market?
If it’s a new listing, don’t expect the sellers to strike a bargain with you. There is more room for negotiation when a house has been sitting on the market for over 90 days in comparison to a house that has been listed for only a few days. Many buyers assume there must be something wrong with the house when a property doesn’t sell right away, but in reality, it may have been priced incorrectly from the start.
2. Why is the home being sold?
Understanding why the seller is moving out of the home can help with negotiating the best possible price. Knowing their expectations and in what areas they are willing to meet in agreement will be very beneficial during the offer and negotiation process.
3. What is this property worth in today's market?
According to real estate ethics, your agent cannot tell you how much to offer on a house, but they can surely provide valuable information so you can come to an accurate conclusion of what the home is worth. Your agent can run a Comparable Market Analysis, or “CMA,” which is a current sales report of nearby properties sold in the recent 30-60 days. The prices shown in this report should be within 2 – 5 percent of the price the seller is requesting for the home. A bigger house that has more features might have a higher asking price, while a smaller house that needs work might have a lower price.
4. What is the condition of the house?
When viewing properties, it’s easy to fall in love with a home at first sight. Try to see past the beautiful kitchen or amazing backyard; take a close look at the overall condition and age of the home. The seller will provide a disclosure of the known issues about the home after you’ve reached an agreement on the price and terms of your offer. Either way, an inspection is highly recommended to find out if there are any issues with the property, specially the top 5 important items. Those are the roof, plumbing, AC/HV, foundation, and the electrical connections. Depending on the information disclosed, this can help to adjust the home to a fair price or request that the seller make the necessary repairs before closing.
5. Do you see any signs of pests?
Could you imagine buying a house and finding–pests? You need to be vigilant about pests when you’re looking for a place. Look for mouse turds. Look inside cabinets, and moist places where pests like to hide. Maybe even pull the refrigerator or stove out, and make sure there’s nothing there! Ask the sellers to provide more information about it. This should be disclosed by the previous owner at time of sale. But even if the owner dealt with a past infestation — and can offer proof, such as a receipt for pest control — that doesn’t mean the pests have been completely eliminated. Whatever conditions made your house attract the infestation in the first place — a slow leak under the house, soft rotting wood that attracts insects — may still be present.
6. Is this home in a flood plain?
Living in a flood plain can require flood insurance, which can affect the cost of living in the house.If you discover that the property you want is in a flood plain, find out what type of flood plain and what risks accompany it, as well as how much flood insurance will cost for the area.