Buying a house is a big decision, and it’s important to do your research before you make an offer. One of the best ways to get started is to interview several real estate agents and choose one who you feel comfortable with and who has experience in the type of home you’re looking for.
Once you’ve chosen an agent, it’s time to start looking at houses. But before you head out to your first showing, there are a few questions you should ask your realtor. These questions will help you learn more about the home and the buying process, and they’ll help you make an informed decision about whether or not to make an offer.
Questions to Ask Your Realtor When Looking at a House
1. Why is the seller selling?
This question can give you some insight into the condition of the house and the seller’s motivation. If the seller is moving because they’re downsizing, for example, the house is likely in good condition. But if they’re selling because they’re having financial problems, there may be some underlying issues with the property.
2. How long have the current owners lived in the house?
The longer the owners have lived in the house, the more likely it is that they’ve made some improvements. But it’s also possible that they’ve neglected some repairs. Ask the realtor how often the owners have had the house inspected and what kind of maintenance they’ve done.
3. What are the major appliances included in the sale?
Some appliances, like the refrigerator and stove, are usually included in the sale of a house. But others, like the washer and dryer, may not be. Be sure to ask the realtor which appliances are included so you can factor that into your budget.
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4. Is there any water damage?
Water damage is one of the most common problems in homes. Look for signs of water damage, such as damp or stained walls, peeling paint, and mold. If you see any of these signs, ask the realtor about the extent of the damage and what has been done to repair it.
5. Is there any pest damage?
Pests, such as termites and carpenter ants, can cause serious damage to a home. Look for signs of pest damage, such as holes in the walls or ceilings, sawdust piles, and dead insects. If you see any of these signs, ask the realtor about the extent of the damage and what has been done to treat it.
6. What is the condition of the roof?
A new roof can cost thousands of dollars, so it’s important to know the condition of the roof before you buy a house. Ask the realtor how old the roof is and when it was last replaced. You should also look for signs of damage, such as missing shingles or leaks.
7. What is the condition of the foundation?
A cracked foundation can be a major problem, so it’s important to have it inspected by a professional before you buy a house. Ask the realtor if the foundation has ever been repaired or if there are any known problems.
8. What is the history of the property?
It’s important to know the history of a property before you buy it. Ask the realtor if there have been any major changes to the property, such as additions or renovations. You should also ask if there have been any problems with the property, such as flooding or fires.
9. What is the neighborhood like?
The neighborhood is an important factor to consider when buying a house. Ask the realtor about the crime rate, the schools, and the proximity to amenities. You should also take a walk around the neighborhood and get a feel for the atmosphere.
10. What are the property taxes?
Property taxes can add up, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you buy a house. Ask the realtor what the property taxes are and how often they are assessed.
11. What are the utility costs?
Utility costs can vary depending on the size of the house and the location. Ask the realtor what the average utility costs are for the property.
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12. What are the HOA fees?
If the property is part of a homeowners association (HOA), you’ll need to pay HOA fees. Ask the realtor what the HOA fees are and what they cover.
13. Is there anything else I should know about this property?
Don’t be afraid to ask the realtor any other questions you have about the property. The more information you have, the better equipped you’ll be to make an informed decision about whether or not to buy the house.
By asking these questions, you can learn more about the property and make an informed decision about whether or not to buy it. Your realtor can provide you with valuable information about the property and help you negotiate the best possible price.
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