What questions should I ask when buying a house. A checklist for today’s buyer. Recently considered buying another property. Maybe a rental or investment property. I was wondering what would be some good questions that I could ask so that I could be assured that I didn’t make any huge mistakes. Here’s what I came up with.
With any type of home sale, as a potential buyer, you will always have questions you’ll want to ask. If you’re represented by a real estate agent, he or she usually know ahead of time the kinds of questions that will need to ask because they’ve heard most of them in the course of their career.
But there are many common questions to ask and it will be helpful for you to know what those questions should be.. Without being said… “What are you asking for the property?”
As a buyer, you should ask how much you pay for property taxes.
While any home might have a great sale price, the amount of property taxes can add significantly to a mortgage payment. Additionally, you should ask, “ What type of financing will you consider?” A smart seller will know that the fees associated with selling conventional will be far less than if the buyer)You) uses FHA or VA financing.
Will they pay loan points or any other cost otherwise you will need to pay.
You should ask whether or not there is a homeowner’s association fee.
What Other Questions Should I Ask?
Many HOA fees are relatively inexpensive, but in some neighborhoods, these fees can be a few hundred dollars a month. Another question you should ask is what’s the cost of electricity on a month to month basis. Keep in mind that an April or May number may be far different than an August or September number, especially if you live in Florida.
If an electric bill is outrageously high, that may sway you from making a buying decision. What one family uses won’t necessarily be what another family uses. If the utility bill isn’t a fixed one, specifically ask what the average of what utilities have been over a 12-month basis.
Don’t forget about water and sewage. As an example, in one part of the state where I live the water and sewer were well over $125 per month and a similar neighborhood 25 miles away is $20 per month.
Another thing that you may want to know as a buyer the state and age of the roof is. While this information is usually in the listing description, buyers should still ask about it. Just because the roof is only 9 years old doesn’t mean that it isn’t in need of repair. Many roofs get damaged in storms that are never reported or repaired.
That’s because replacing a roof can be an expensive endeavor – not to mention it can cause damage if it leaks. You ask if the home has a problem with insects like ants, spiders, roaches or if it has a problem with mice.
You should always ask about any issues with pests like. Ants, palmetto bugs, termites and even mice. Even if the home has been treated in the past it’s important to find out about any previous treatments.
Having a home warranty in place to cover the appliances and the heating and air that can transfer to the buyer is often a helpful selling feature because as a buyer you will want the appliances included in the sale.
Do you want to ask why you’re selling the home? It’s more of a question geared toward protecting your self than it is a truly nosy one. Asking this question may lead to an opportunity for a better price, or it could make you aware of the sellers level of motivation. It the seller isn’t extremely motivated, and you need a place right away, you may want to continue your search.
Ask about the neighbors. If they are good you will more than likely hear “ We Have Great Neighbors” If they have a terrible neighbor, you probably won’t get this information.
You should ask you about the area – such as what the schools are like and what types of amenities are nearby. Ask about crime rates and other things such as transportation, shopping, and entertainment.
You can’t be shy. If you like the property ask if they are open for a price negotiation because you are looking at other properties. Let the seller know what your range is. If you can’t afford the asking price, see if they would come down some.
If you’re dealing someone who wants the full asking price and you know they not going to budge from that, tell the seller what your budget is and there’s very little wiggle room in your range.. That way, they don’t waste your time and you don’t waste theirs.
When it comes to buying a home, it can be a very scary proposition. There are so many factors that go into play when negotiating a ‘Good Deal” A good deal is something that must satisfy both buyer and seller. If you are not the kind of person that can ask direct questions then it may be time to consider the use of a Real estate Professional.
Here’s a tip that you may or may not know. Real Estate professionals can represent a seller through what is called a listing agreement. A buyer can be represented by what is called a buyer’s broker.
A Buyer’s Broker Is simply that. The or she negotiates on behalf of the buyer or in the interest of the buyer. There can be fees associated with hiring a buyer, but typically an agreement is signed noting that you will work exclusively with that particular broker.
Here are a few of the benefits of using a Buyers Broker or Buyer’s agent.
- Help you find the right property
They will walk you through the process. Help determine the price range based on your income and expenses. Make sure you don’t buy more house than you can afford.
- Negotiate the best price and terms.
Help contract negotiations, contract preparation, closing numbers, document exchange and other aspects of the process.
- Recommend other professionals.
A buyer’s agent should also be able to refer you to reliable mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, movers, and more. This can also help expedite each step of the process and move you to a successful sale all the faster.
- Help with the setbacks.
There will be setbacks. It’s just how it goes. After spending over 10 years in the Real Estate business, I can honestly say that there are issues with just about every transaction. It’s the nature of the beast as they say. So be prepared for misunderstandings, appraisals that don’t come back as expected, repairs that need to be done, slow-downs with the mortgage underwriting and more. This is not to scare you, it’s just the reality of what you are up against.
It’s important to note that a buyers agent must disclose to the seller that he is showing you their property as your representative. This puts that seller or seller’s agent on notice that you are seeking the best possible terms and are leveraging the power of representation to do so.
I today’s market it is very likely that many would-be property buyers are using the services of a buyer’s broker. Any agent can represent you in the process. And there are many agents that work exclusively with buyers. When searching out for a Realtor you will need to ask to determine whether the agent/broker is skilled in the art of negotiating on behalf of a buyer. (YOU)
My final thoughts on this are as follows. If you have the skill set to go out and locate, negotiate and close a real estate transaction on your own, by all means, do so. However, if you are not of the mindset where you will need to negotiate, follow up, deal with other service professionals and potentially run into what I call “Transnational Buzz Saws” then seriously consider calling a Realtor and get the help you need.