Buying a home can be both exciting and incredibly stressful. You might as well be planning a wedding with the amount of steps you have to go through to find your dream home: shopping the marketplace, visiting open houses, paying for inspections, and finding the right real estate agent who you can trust to guide you through the process.
Even once you’ve chosen your new home, a REALTOR® can help you start digging into the nitty gritty with any questions you have. But, what should buyers be asking? Here are the 7 questions to ask your REALTOR® when buying a home:
How old is the roof?
Buyers should always ask about the age of the roof before making an offer on a home. The National Association of REALTORS® estimates that the average cost of replacing a roof is around $7,600. This is a huge expense, so it’s best to know right away whether or not this will be needed in the near future. A roof that needs replacing may also make the offer price more negotiable.
When were the appliances and systems replaced?
It’s not cheap to repair or replace appliances and systems. Buyers should always find out when kitchen appliances, washers, dryers, hot water heaters, and HVAC systems were originally installed. If any of these appliances or systems are nearing the end of their lifespan, this is another expense you will need to prepare for if you buy the home. Newer appliances also have the advantage of potentially saving more energy, which could mean lower utility bills.
How much will the monthly expenses be in this home?
Ask your real estate agent to provide you with a rough estimate of the home’s monthly expenses. Real estate agents can contact the seller’s agent to find out the average cost of utilities. They can also look into the homeowners’ association fees if the home is in an HOA community. Having this information will make it easier for you to determine if you can afford to live in the house.
What will this neighborhood be like in the future?
Buyers aren’t just investing in a home—they are also investing in a neighborhood. If the neighborhood starts to go downhill, the value of your home will start to decline as well. For this reason, it’s important to ask your real estate agent to conduct research on the neighborhood’s future. Agents can find out if there are any local real estate projects or new commercial tenants that will impact the neighborhood’s reputation. Buyers should also look into the local school districts to see if it’s a good fit if they have or are planning on having shoulder.
How much should I offer?
Ask for your real estate agent’s opinion when you are ready to make an offer on a home. Real estate agents will consider a number of factors when calculating a fair offer, including the recent sales prices of comparable homes. Agents can also factor in the condition of the home and the cost of any repairs that may be needed. It’s best to let a real estate agent calculate the offer using local data and their expertise instead of pulling a number out of thin air.
How many offers has the seller received?
Buyers will also need to ask their REALTOR® to find out how many offers the seller has already received. If the seller has received multiple offers, you will need to sweeten the deal in order to make your offer stand out. Sometimes, this means increasing the offer, but buyers can also remove contingencies from the contract to make the deal more attractive.
How long has the home been on the market?
The best way to determine how motivated the seller is to get rid of his home is to find out how long it has been on the market. If the home has been on the market for a long time, this means you could get away with offering a bit less since the seller is probably anxious to make a deal.
The answers to these questions should provide you with the information you need to decide whether or not it’s a good idea to purchase the home. But, if these questions aren’t enough, never hesitate to ask your real estate agent additional questions along the way. Buying a home is a huge financial commitment, and one you shouldn’t make until you are confident in your decision.