Buying a house is one of the most significant financial decisions you will make, and it requires both time and money. So, you want to do your best to make the right decision.
When it comes to buying a home, the most common error people make is becoming emotionally involved before asking all of the important questions and gathering all of the practical and logical information about whether or not a property is good for them.
Asking the proper questions is the first step in gathering as much information as possible about a potential house. So, what are the most important questions to ask when buying a home?
Why is the seller moving?
Inquiring as to why the owner is leaving might give a few important insights. If the seller is unhappy with something about the property, you may be able to identify a dealbreaker before closing, and if the seller has a compelling reason to leave, you may be able to negotiate a lower price.
It is also a way to determine whether they are rushing to sell or are able to stay longer and wait for a higher bid. If they need to sell soon to move into their next house, for example, they may be more agreeable to the price negotiation.
How long has the property been on the market?
This information can be found on listings, but your real estate agent will be able to provide you with the most up-to-date time frame. For some people, a house that has been on the market for a long time raises red flags because it appears to have something wrong with it. However, this is not always the case. If you like the house, a lengthy listing period may work in your favor. Sellers are more inclined to compromise the longer they have to wait to sell, so you may be able to get the house for less than the asking price.
What is the neighborhood like?
"Location, location, location" is a common mantra in real estate. But most people think it’s just about centrality or proximity to transport links. Yet, good neighbors are often overlooked. As humans, we have a desire for a sense of community. There are an absolute plethora of benefits to a good neighborhood. Good neighbors keep us engaged and are impartial to a happy life. Even if you don't intend to live in the house you buy, a possible tenant would prefer a lovely community with friendly neighbors.
What is the cost of comparable homes in the area?
Inquire with your real estate agent about the prices of comparable properties in the area. Hopefully, they'll be experienced with the market and will be able to tell you right away if the property you're looking at is priced correctly. You could also try to find out how much the house has previously sold for. If the seller stands to make a significant profit based on the current asking price, you'll have a lot more negotiating power.
What’s included in the sale?
You don't want to move into a new house just to discover that you don't have a washing machine. While many vendors leave significant equipment such as washers and refrigerators behind, some do not. Make sure you understand everything that comes with the property, as the listing may not always offer a thorough list of included appliances. Fixtures such as faucets and built-in closets should be kept, although you can ask for confirmation.
Asking the appropriate questions during the home-buying process, especially if you're a first-time buyer, can help you prevent shocks or regret later on. Begin with these questions, and don't be afraid to personalize them anymore by addressing your specific concerns.