Important Questions to Ask a REALTOR While Shopping for a House
Shopping for a home is thrilling, but it is a good idea to think through many questions
before jumping into a mortgage. The answer to any of these questions can decide
whether you are falling into a bad deal or getting into a home for an awesome price.
These are the top questions to ask your REALTOR and help them find you the perfect
What Unexpected Repair Costs May Come Up?
This question may come up if you’re looking at older homes especially. The reason you
should ask is this will help you find out what pieces of the property are older and in
need. Is the garage older? You’ll need to know what garage door replacement costs
you may be facing in the near future, luckily this is one update that can add a lot of
value to your property.
This question should have to do with older pieces of equipment, poorly maintained parts
of the property, and whatever the homeowner probably doesn’t want you to think about:
your realtor should notice these things since they work in this field.
What Type of Flooring Is There, and How Old Is It?
Whether it's faux hardwood flooring or old shag carpet, the flooring you have matters
because it tells you how durable the floors are and how long they will last. Although
flooring can eventually be replaced with whatever you want, if you don't want to pay for
that now or deal with the hassle, it's a good idea to know ahead of time.
What’s The Neighborhood and Local Area Like?
You should be curious about the area since you are possibly moving there! It is a good
idea to ask this to determine the crime rates, what types of schools are available, and
what your neighbors would be like. Even if you find a perfect home with the board and
batten siding and five-piece bathroom you want: if it is in a bad area or the neighborhood
is going to make you miserable, it is not worth it.
Has There Been Any History of Flooding or Disaster?
This question is vital, especially if you live in an area with flooding. Although most
states make it so that you legally have to disclose this information, many don't. This can
allow sellers to hide this information and possibly put you and your property in danger if
it might flood again. Although there is no guarantee that a place that has flooded before
will attack again, it is still a vital piece of information you should want to know.
This is even more important to ask if you live in an area that’s been hit by wildfires, dust
storms, or monsoons within the last five years. This question could be what saves you
from having to look up composite roofing costs when you find out the roof has been
damaged by extreme weather conditions in recent years. It’s better to be cautious now
and ask questions.
Why Are The Owners Looking to Sell The Home?
What inspired the owners to decide to sell? Although not all owners will make their
reasoning public, it can make things easier on you if you can find this out. Sometimes
it is as simple as them wanting to upgrade to a larger home, but if it has issues with bugs or
neighborhood disputes, that could sour what would have been a great property.
How Long Has This Property Been On the Market?
Sometimes a property being on the market for a long time could mean nothing at all. It
might just be that the sellers haven't found the right buyer or that you are currently in a
buyers market, and there are far too many homes available. It is a good idea to ask to
be safe, though, so that you can allow that to influence your decision.
If they don’t have a clear answer for why something’s been on the market for a long
time, ensure that you carefully comb over the inspection report to figure out if this is a
good property for you.
How Low Can We Get The Price to Go?
If the price is incredibly high: it’s okay to work and bargain against it. Your budget isn’t
as flexible as their selling price, and they’ll have to realize that. Instead of letting
yourself panic, you ask your REALTOR how low they think they can get the price. If it’s
still not within your budget, it might be a good idea to move on and look at other homes.
Your REALTOR Is The Line Between a Good and a Bad Deal.
Your REALTOR is a trained and highly skilled professional whose main goal is to get
you a home that you’ll love. They’re paid to ensure you get the best deal possible, so
it’s a good idea to use them to the best of their abilities. Discuss anything you’re unsure
about, and take the time to find the property that speaks to you.
Andrea Erickson is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. She is a blogger and
content writer. Andrea is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and
architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.