House hunting can be tremendous fun. It can also be a little overwhelming. As you visit different homes, take in all the features and amenities, and try to determine what’s best for your real estate needs, there’s simply a lot to think about. After a while, it may all start to run together.
To help guide your house hunting process, it may be helpful to have a list of key questions to ask. You can ask these to your agent or to the property owner…whoever’s showing you around. You may not end up verbalizing all of these questions out loud, but they can bring a little focus to your house hunting efforts.
(Also note: If you’re on the selling side of things and want our advice on getting a home sold, make sure you claim your SOLD.com report. In it, you’ll find all the information you need for effectively selling your home!)
10 Things to Ask While House Hunting
- Why is the homeowner trying to get the place sold? See if your agent has any clues as to why the seller is moving on. If it’s because they have to be in a different city for a change in employment, or if there is some other time crunch in place, then you may be able to negotiate a really great price out of them. And if they are moving due to a problem with the home or the neighborhood, you’ll want to know that, as well.
- What’s the market like here in the neighborhood? Are you looking at a neighborhood where it’s very difficult to sell? Where there’s a lot of turnover? Where there are a bunch of foreclosures? All of these are worth knowing.
- About how much is the home worth? Your agent will be able to look at comparable homes, as well as tax records, to get a sense of how much the property is actually worth. This can help you determine whether it’s overpriced, or whether it’s priced competitively.
- Are there any seller disclosures? Legally, the seller will have to disclose certain maintenance and repair issues to you, assuming they are aware of any such issues. Always ask about this!
- How many times has the property been sold? If the same house has been on the market six times over the past decade, that obviously raises some concerns that there is some major problem with the home itself.
- How long has the property been for sale? Ask about the Days on Market. The longer it’s been for sale, the more desperate the seller probably is… and again, that could put you in position for a really good bargain.
- How much are the utility bills? What about property taxes? As you look at homes, you’ll want to know not only how much they cost on the front end, but also what kind of expenses you can anticipate month-to-month and year-to-year. The seller should be willing to provide you with the property tax information, and some representative utility bills from the past few months.
- Are there any sex offenders in the neighborhood? You’ll especially want to know this if you have kids. It’s actually easy to find this information yourself, simply by using Google to locate the sex offender registry and input the address of the property in question.
- What are the most recent updates and renovations? When selling your home, it’s typically to make some improvements to it. Some of these improvements may be obvious, but you should also ask about any recent projects. For example, if the windows or air conditioning unit were just replaced, that can be a pretty big plus!
- How old are the appliances? Along the same lines, always ask about the age of the most major appliances, and ballpark how many years it will be before they need to be replaced.
These are just some of the questions to keep in mind as you house hunt.
Learn How to Sell Your Own Home
And again, if you’re on the other side of the process and want to learn how to sell your own home, don’t forget to claim your free report. Grab your SOLD.com data today!