You found the perfect place that you want to call home, and you want to buy it as soon as possible. Not so fast.
This is probably going to be one of the biggest purchases you ever make – so you’re going to want to be well-informed about it. Be sure to ask your Realtor these homebuying questions before signing any papers.
How long has it been on the market?
This is important to know because it may determine your opportunity of negotiating. If it’s a new listing with multiple people looking, you may not to be able to talk the price down.
However, if it’s been on the market for a while, it may be because the price is too high. In this case, you may be able to negotiate a lower price. But also, there may be something wrong with the home. Ask your Realtor if there are any flaws you should be concerned about.
How much are property taxes, utilities, and other costs?
When buying a home, you’re going to be paying for more than your principal and interest (P&I). That’s why you should ask about these costs – so you can budget accordingly. Find out what your property tax is. It may be different than what the previous homeowners paid because, in some areas, property taxes are based on the purchase price.
Also, find out the average cost of monthly utilities, and what months they’ll be the most expensive. It’s important to learn about what type of energy sources your home uses – such as electric, gas, propane, or a combination.
Finally, ask about other costs included with the home, such as Homeowner Association fees. All of these costs will add up, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before signing any papers.
How long did the previous owner(s) live there?
This is important to find out because it can determine a number of things. Maybe there’s a problem with the home that you should know about. Or maybe they got a new job somewhere else and need to sell the home ASAP – in which case, they may be willing to negotiate.
Have there ever been any infestations?
If so, find out if they used pest control, and when. And even if they did, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem will be solved either, so be very cautious – extermination costs and repairs can be thousands of dollars. It’s important to note that if there are or have ever been any infestations, the seller may be willing to pay for extermination before selling.
What do you think the home will realistically sell for?
While your Realtor won’t be able to give you an exact price, a good Realtor should be able to ballpark it based on the selling prices of other homes in the area and the seller’s circumstances. With their experience, they may be able to guide you to the right strategy so you don’t end up overpaying or being outbid by someone else.
When you’re looking to buy a home, be sure to ask all of these questions to make sure you don’t regret your final decision. Also, when you’re ready to make an offer, be sure to follow these 5 tips.