6 Questions to Ask Your Realtor Before Buying a Home

realtor speaks with couple buying a home outside of housePurchasing a home can be a stressful experience. There’s so much to consider: from location to budget to size and more, it’s a very involved process. And when you’re investing this much money and time, it’s important to do your research and have the resources needed to make an informed purchasing decision—you certainly don’t want to leave anything to chance! Luckily, the realtor you work with can be a great source of knowledge along the way. To help aid in a smooth home buying experience, here are six of the most worthwhile questions to ask your realtor before the sale goes through.

1. Why is the Owner Selling and How Long Have They Lived There?

Finding out the motivations for the previous owner to sell will help determine whether the home is a good fit for you. If the seller is moving because they’re required to be somewhere else within a certain timeframe, there may be a chance to negotiate on the overall asking price. Other information on how long the previous owners have lived there offers a chance to learn more about their overall experience and disclose any issues that have presented themselves.

2. What Is the Market Like in This Neighborhood?

It’s a future homeowner’s worst nightmare to move into a neighborhood that’s in a rapid state of decline. So be sure to curate several questions to ask your realtor in order to fully understand what state the neighborhood market is in before moving forward with the purchase. If the neighborhood is expected to decrease in desirability, it’s worth keeping your options open before buying.

3. When Do the Sellers Have to Move Out?

If the sellers are trying to move quickly, they may be pressured to sell within a short timeframe resulting in an opportunity to purchase the home at a lower asking price than listed. But, if the sellers do not have a time-constraining deadline to move out, this allows more time to inspect the home and rule out any issues with the house, appliances, and systems.

4. How Much Are the Property Taxes and Utility Bills?

Having a budget is important when searching for a home, as it indicates what you can reasonably afford. Getting pre-qualified for a loan is the first step for learning what your mortgage payment and homeowners insurance premium will be, but come prepared with questions to ask your realtor about estimated additional costs for taxes and utility bills to help you plan ahead even better.

5. How Long Has the Home Been on the Market?

A home that’s been on the market for a long period of time could indicate that there are problems or the seller is unwilling to negotiate on the asking price. Any listing history your real estate agent can provide about the house may help you understand smaller details that hadn’t been fully disclosed previously.

6. Is There Paperwork for the Appliances and Mechanical Systems?

One of the most overlooked but highly important questions to ask your realtor is a request for paperwork on the appliances and mechanical systems throughout the home. If there’s no record of documentation, it can be a hassle trying to figure out what’s under warranty and dealing with the cost of repairs. Without property documentation on systems and appliances, it’s difficult for home warranty insurance to know what caused the problem.

For additional information, check out our resources on questions to ask your realtor before moving into other living spaces:

● 10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Condo

● 10 Questions You Should Ask Before Renting an Apartment

Questions like these can make all the difference when working with a realtor to purchase a home. It will not only give you peace of mind but will equip you with knowledge you can use in the future. For more tips and resources related to the home buying process, check out our blog and whitepapers. To review your homeowners insurance policy and make sure you have the best coverage for the best price, contact TJ Woods Insurance Agency today.