House hunting can be exciting, especially for first time home buyers. It’s easy to get distracted with the size of the rooms, the kitchen, and the master bedroom, but it’s important to look beyond the superficial and ask the right questions.
Prepare Questions Beforehand
When house hunting, it is unlikely that the seller will be present, so prepare a list of questions that your agent can send to the seller.
Keep in mind: there are no laws in place that require the seller to disclose all information about the property without being prompted. It is, however, unethical for them to answer untruthfully, so make sure to ask specific questions! Some important questions are:
- Have renovations been done? How long ago?
If the appliances or bathrooms are fairly new, you can workout your budget more accurately. If they’re older, you can expect to be spending money in the near future to replace them.
- How did they find the neighbourhood?
Get a sense of the social aspect of living there. Having noisy, rude neighbours might be a deal breaker.
- What are the perks of living in this neighbourhood?
If you have, or expect to have children, it might be nice to be in a neighbourhood that has a lot of children. How convenient is it to go get groceries? Perhaps there’s a hidden gem nearby that only people who live in the neighbourhood know about!
- Have you had any issues with the house?
Perhaps there are structural issues, plumbing issues, electrical issues. These are all things that one probably wouldn’t notice in a regular walkthrough of the property.
If all of these answers are positive, ask why they decided to move! If they don’t answer any of the questions, or are reluctant to, a red flag has appeared.
Don't be Afraid to Ask Your Agent!
Your agent might not have all of the answers, but they’re there to help you find the right house. If you have questions that they can’t answer, they will ask the seller’s agent. Determining if the house is right for you is no small task!
- How long has the property been on the market?
Chances are, if the house has been up for a long time, there is something wrong.
- How many times has this house been on the market?
If this house has been up for sale multiple times in 5-10 years, you might wonder why people keep leaving.
- How many offers has this house gotten?
The real estate agent cannot disclose what the offers are, but they can tell you if there is competition. Keep to your budget, but discuss what you can afford when making an offer.
- Is the asking price fair?
If you have done your homework you might already know this answer. If you haven’t, your agent can determine what the house is worth by comparing recent sales in the area. The house’s features, the market, and nearby comparables are accurate ways of determining the value of the property.
While house hunting you may come up with more questions to ask, and that’s wonderful! Your real estate agent’s job is to make sure that the house you buy is the one you’re in love with. The questions you ask don’t have to be generic. They should be questions that are relevant to what is most important to you.
Looking for an Agent?
Contact Christine Brayford!
Knowledgeable, dependable, and will work hard to satisfy your goals!