Choosing the perfect home is exhilarating, but it can also be time consuming. Even with an excellent real estate agent and a thorough understanding of the attributes you want in a home, finding and reviewing houses takes time and effort.
It helps to come prepared with a list of critical questions to make viewings easier and more efficient. You can read more effectively compare all the houses you’ve visited and make an informed selection about the perfect home for you and your family once you have these details about each property.
When seeing a home, who should you bring?
Your real estate agent should accompany you to any property you visit so they can learn more about what you like and dislike about it. They can also answer a lot of questions and advise you on whether or not the house is a good fit for your preferences and needs.
A viewing should be attended by your spouse or partner. In certain circumstances, you may want to go to the first several options your real estate agent offers you on your own, then narrow down your choices to two or three good contenders. Though it may appear that eliminating homes that are an apparent no-go will save time, recognizing these poor matches might enable you and your partner have critical conversations about what you really want in a home. As a result, it’s excellent for both of you to go house hunting.
You might want to bring along another person, such as a close friend or family member who is a contractor or has other knowledge of residential real estate. It’s always better to hold off on bringing in a third person until you’ve narrowed down your possibilities to simply the most likely prospects.
It’s preferable if you don’t bring your children to a scheduled viewing or open house. Younger children can become bored and require attention at a time when you should be concentrating on examining each property critically. Even older children should only look at the properties you consider front runners, since they may become enthusiastic about things that aren’t on your list and then be upset that you didn’t choose the house with the pool or the kids’ room loft.
When viewing a home, what should you look for?
It’s critical to select homes for viewing that are within your budget. A real estate agent may recommend that you examine a home that is beyond of your budget but meets all of your other criteria. However, if you don’t have any flexibility in terms of your budget, you may end up disappointed. Getting prequalified before going house hunting will help you focus your search on properties that fit your budget.
When looking for houses, you should also have a firm concept of your ideal places and stick to them. The house can be updated and renovated, but the neighborhood cannot be changed.
Before your viewing, here are some questions to ask your real estate agent.
Any property your representative shows you should have been thoroughly researched by them. If you can’t see the property with your agent, such as during an open house, get these answers from your agent as soon as possible.
How long has the house been up for sale? Sellers of properties that have been on the market for a long time may be more motivated. There could possibly be a big issue that has deterred other possible buyers. If a home hasn’t been available for a long time, you may need to be ready to make an offer quickly.
What are the prices of similar homes in the area? Your agent should be able to tell you whether the house you’re looking at is appropriately priced in comparison to others in the area. Should you decide to make an offer, you should be prepared to negotiate if the cost is higher than planned. If it’s lower, there might be a problem with the house.
Is the property in a flood plain? Or are you at risk of being affected by other natural disasters? Your agent can compare the homes you’re interested in to a FEMA map of flood zones, or he or she may have enough local knowledge to know which properties are more vulnerable to natural disasters.
Is there a neighborhood association? You’ll want to know if the location has any laws or regulations that you must follow, as well as any fees, when they’re due, and what they cover. After visiting multiple properties, you may have more questions that your realtor can address, but it’s important to have this knowledge before becoming too connected to any home.
10 Questions to Ask When Visiting a House
You may have other questions regarding a property, but these are a good place to start to get a general idea of the house and its condition.
1. What is the reason for the seller’s relocation?
A seller who is leaving the region for a new career or who has outgrown the home has a different rationale for selling than someone who doesn’t get along with their neighbors. Knowing why the vendor is leaving can also help you figure out whether the price can be lowered. If the seller is extremely motivated, you may be able to request additional contingencies in your offer.
2. What is included in the purchase price?
Fixtures such as faucets and built-in closets should be kept with the house, but you might ask for confirmation. Appliances, chandeliers, curtains, and outdoor sheds or play structures are among items that may or may not stay with the home.
3. What is the age of the roof?
Roof replacement is a large investment that people who are planning to move may put off. Find out if a new roof is necessary before spending thousands of dollars. If your roof has to be repaired, your lender may need you to negotiate with the seller to replace it before you can acquire your mortgage.
4. How old is the heating and cooling system, and how efficient is it?
The cost of replacing an old furnace is high. Even a newer furnace or heat pump may be noisy or inefficient compared to current versions. You’ll want to learn more about how the house is heated and cooled, as well as whether or not repairing or replacing the system is a priority.
5. Are there any informational disclosures?
If the house contains lead paint, the seller is required to report it. They must also reveal the presence of asbestos, mold, water, or pest damage in select sites. However, if the vendor is unaware, they cannot be obliged to provide the information. Even if you request a professional inspection to check for asbestos or other potentially hazardous items, the seller may refuse. If you have a home built at the time when those materials were widespread, you may have to make a best guess and commit to pay if you need to remove them.
6. Is there anything wrong with the house?
Even though the seller is not required by law to disclose certain details about the property, many will. They don’t want you to get to the inspection stage and discover a flaw, forcing you to back out of the deal. Pay attention to whatever information the seller provides about the property’s condition. It’s also possible that many crucial fixtures have lately been changed, which is fantastic news.
7. Have you done any changes or renovations to your home?
Because expansions aren’t often included in the home’s official records, the real square footage may be more than you imagined. One cause for a greater pricing could be this.
Inquire about the contractor that worked on the additions. If a homeowner enjoys “do-it-yourself” projects, they may not have employed the correct techniques or obtained the necessary licenses. Any big work done by a homeowner who is not a professional contractor should be approached with caution.
8. How strong is the water pressure?
Low water pressure can make it difficult to enjoy your house and can be costly to repair. Check for leaks from faucets and shower heads. Turn on the water in two different sections of the house to observe whether the flow is reduced.
9. Has the property lately been surveyed? What happened to the pins?
Find out whether there are surveying markers that show the yard’s borders to avoid any disputes about property lines. Check for any fences or structures that extend beyond the line.
Do you have any easements?
A neighbor’s legal right to access your property is known as an easement. This can happen if, for example, a shared driveway begins on your property and branches off to adjacent homes. You’ll want to know if there’s anything you can’t change if you have any plans for the yard.
Additional questions may be suggested by your real estate agent based on your home specifications. It’s a good idea to jot down your replies for each property and keep a document that compares each one. You can make the homebuying process go more smoothly if you get answers and know what to expect.