Although buying a home can be exciting and overwhelming, we recommend that you make sure you are smart and knowledgeable throughout the whole process.
Buying a home quickly without first checking for defects can not only be tedious, but it can also be expensive. Before you fund your home, sign paperwork, and move in, make sure you know what you’re signing up for by asking these important questions on a virtual home tour or in-person visit.
Questions to ask when visiting a home in person:
A home visit is an exciting and scary event. While seeing your potential home for the first time can make you fall in love and want to rush the process of submitting an offer and signing a contract, taking your time and making sure the home is truly the right fit for you is essential.
It all starts with choosing the right real estate agent. You want to build trust with your agent and make sure he has your best interests in mind. That way, you’ll know they answer your questions honestly and accurately, and you can make the right decision when buying. We also recommend that you prepare yourself with a list of questions to make sure you go through every aspect of the home and see all it has to offer.
Questions to Ask Before Your Home Visit:
You don’t want to waste your time or your real estate agent’s time visiting a home that you think won’t work. These questions can help you determine if a home is suitable before you see it for yourself.
- Do you have questions about the house or the price?
By asking the real estate agent if you have any questions about the home or the list price, you can ensure that you aren’t visiting a home that you aren’t really interested in or that won’t work.
- How quickly do you think the house will sell?
You don’t want to visit your dream home just to find out the next day that an offer has been accepted. Asking your real estate agent when the house will be sold can help you determine if you need to speed things up or if you can take your time.
- Can you tell me about the neighborhood and the benefits?
The neighborhood you move to will be your base of operations. If the neighborhood has flashy red flags, knowing them before the visit can help you rule out less than ideal situations. Likewise, knowing the benefits of your new job can help build enthusiasm around the house.
- Why are the previous owners moving?
If the previous owners are moving due to a series of needed repairs, a traumatic event in the house, or an aversion to the surroundings, you probably want to know. Asking the real estate agent why the previous owners are moving can help you understand why the house is for sale in the first place.
- Is the house located in a flooded area?
If your home is prone to flooding or other natural disasters, we recommend that you prepare yourself by purchasing additional home insurance. Asking your home’s natural disaster history can help you assess how a flood might affect your future.
- What does the sale include?
It is very likely that equipment such as a refrigerator and a stove will be included in the contract, however, sometimes the seller may be available or interested in leaving additional items such as furniture, a washing machine or a dryer. . Asking what the sale includes can help you determine what to buy for yourself and what will come with the purchase of your home.
- How long is the house on the market?
If a house has been on the market for a long time, the seller may be more motivated to close a deal. However, it can also mean a problem with the house that prevents the sale. Asking how long a home has been on the market can help you be ready for the best price while being aware of potential issues.
- What is the median price of a house in this neighborhood?
Knowing how much a home in the neighborhood you’re looking for typically costs can help you determine whether the selling price of the home you’re looking for is too high or too low. The real estate agent will have access to the history of the market on the location of the house.
- Have there been any major repairs?
If any part of the house has suffered significant damage, we recommend that you find out. Asking for major repairs to your home can help you keep an eye out for potential problems that such repairs might cause in the future as you walk around the space.
Questions to Ask When Visiting a Home:
Seeing a home for the first time is an exhilarating experience, but make sure you pay enough attention to the reality of the space. These questions can help you know what to look for.
- Will the garden be easy to maintain?
Take a look at the courtyard as you walk through it. If it’s filled with gardens, flowers, and other shrubs, you need to make sure you’re ready to invest in some landscaping equipment or a landscaping service to keep it looking good.
- Are the gutters working properly?
Ask if your real estate agent knows how old the gutters in the house are and if they are working properly. They protect your home from flooding and help protect the foundation and landscape. With such a demanding job, you’ll want to make sure your current home gutters are up to the task.
- How old is the roof?
Replacing a roof on a house is a heavy and expensive repair. If the roof of the house is particularly old, it is only a matter of time before it needs to be repaired and will potentially cost you a lot of money. Knowing the age of the roof can help you prepare for potential repair costs down the road.
- Has the foundation been repaired or does it need to be repaired?
The foundation is literally the backbone of the house, so you need to make sure yours are solid and supportive. Ask your real estate agent for the foundation’s repair history so you are aware of any major problems. During the tour, check for cracks in the foundation and see if there are any doors or windows that are difficult to open.
- What are the heating and air conditioning systems?
There are a few types of HVAC systems that vary depending on the age of the home and the history of repairs. Finding out what kind of system your home has is a smart way to find out what you’ll need to do to get it to work and, if necessary, fix it.
- How old are the electrical and plumbing systems?
Electrical and plumbing repairs can also be expensive. Knowing the age of these systems is a great way to estimate the amount of maintenance needed or when they will need to be completely replaced.
- How old are kitchen and laundry appliances?
Equipment failures can be costly. Washing machines, dryers and refrigerators can generally last up to 15 years, and kitchens can generally last up to 18 years. During your visit, ask which devices will be included in the sale and how old they are, so you can assess how quickly they will need to be replaced.
- How does the size of the room compare to the list and floor plan?
Sometimes online or printed floor plans can be a little off their size, and that huge master suite you loved isn’t that big after all. As you walk around the house, ask how the bedroom sizes compare to those listed online.
- How does the house itself compare to advertising? Photos that appear in online listings often use the best photographic equipment with ideal lighting and angles. Make sure you compare the online listing to the actual item as you review it and get your real estate agent’s opinion on each room comparison. Pay attention: cracks on walls or ceilings, peeling paint, scratches on the floor, discoloration of cabinets or walls, wear of appliances, etc.
- What is the best cafe, restaurant or shop near me? The nearest neighborhood services will give you an idea of what the neighborhood will look like as a whole. Ask about the best cafe or restaurant so you can stop on your way home after the tour and get a taste of your new life in your new neighborhood.
- What’s under the carpets?
If you visit a home with carpet, be sure to ask what’s under the carpet and the condition of the floors. If not, you may have problems with the flooring and subfloor that you will want to know about.
- Do the surfaces look old, worn or damaged?
Even if you’re looking around the house on your own, getting a second opinion on any surface that may look old or damaged can help you spot a red flag you may have missed.
- Is there anything else I need to know or consider while we’re here?
Your real estate agent probably knows the house better than you do.
Questions to Ask After the Home Visit:
Deciding to bid on a home is an important step. Make sure you are fully engaged by asking a few final questions.
- Can I get a copy of the real estate policy from the seller?
Sellers should write down any concerns or issues they have had with their home. Requesting a copy of this report can help you determine if your potential investment is good.
- How many offers have been made and when should they be requested?
You don’t want the house of your dreams to blow you away. Asking how many deals are already on the table can help you determine how fast you need to move if you want to create your own.
- Has the seller performed an inspection?
An official inspection can provide more detailed information about the quality of appliances, walls, floors and ceiling. Requesting this report is another valuable way to assess the condition of your home and find out if you are buying more than you can afford.
- What is the history of home repairs and renovations?
If a house has been frequently repaired, we recommend that you take a look. Read up on repairs to see if the house has a recurring problem or to see past repairs that could become future problems once you move in.
- What did you like about the house?
Real estate agents visit many homes. Asking for their perspective on the pros and cons of the home could help you choose some great amenities that you weren’t looking for on your own.
- Are repairs necessary at this time?
You need to know if the seller leaves repairs. Asking if there is any work pending is a great way to understand what you will need to do before and during the move.
- Is the price correct?
After viewing the house, your real estate agent can give you an idea if the price looks right to you. Ask them how the price of the house compares not only to others in the neighborhood, but also if it seems fair given the quality of the house.
- Do you have questions about the house?
Ask your real estate agent to share your concerns with you, as someone who has seen many homes. The real estate agent’s opinions on potential issues can provide you with more information that you may not have noticed as a casual visitor.
- Is the seller flexible with the selling price?
Before bidding, we recommend that you know the margin you have available. Asking if the seller is ready to sell can help you get the best deal for your home.
- How many times has this property been sold in the past 10 years?
If a home has been on the market multiple times in the past decade, it may indicate major issues. Asking about a home’s market history can help you determine whether people have enjoyed it over the long term, or if there are any potential issues that have caused them to sell quickly. Questions to ask during the virtual visit of a house.
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