Wednesday, November 29, 2023 / by Tim Elder
Purchasing a home is a significant investment, and getting as much information as possible about the property you are interested in is crucial. One of the best sources of information is the previous homeowner. Here’s a guide to some suggested questions you should ask before finalizing your purchase.
1. Why are you selling the home?
Understanding the seller’s motivation can give you insight into how negotiable they might be and how urgently they want to sell.
2. How long have you lived in the home?
This question can provide a sense of how well the sellers know the property and the neighborhood.
3. Have you done any major renovations or repairs?
Knowing the history of renovations and repairs can help you understand the condition of the house and what might need attention in the future.
4. Are there any ongoing maintenance issues?
It’s important to know if there are any recurring issues, like a leaky basement or a problematic HVAC system.
5. How old are the major systems and appliances?
Ask about the age and condition of the roof, HVAC system, water heater, and appliances. This information can help you plan for future replacements.
6. Are there any warranties on the home, systems, or appliances?
Transferrable warranties can provide added value and peace of mind.
7. What’s included in the sale?
Make sure you know exactly what will stay with the home, like appliances, light fixtures, or window treatments.
8. How much do utility bills typically run?
This helps you understand the home’s efficiency and what your monthly expenses might be.
9. What do you love about the neighborhood?
This question can reveal both positive aspects and potential downsides of the location.
10. Have you had any problems with the property?
It’s crucial to know about any past problems, such as water damage, pest infestations, or foundation issues.
11. Is there anything you wish you had known before moving in?
This can uncover issues that aren’t immediately obvious during a showing or inspection.
12. Are there any disputes with neighbors?
Knowing about any ongoing issues with neighbors can help you avoid future conflicts.
13. Is there anything else you think I should know about the home?
This open-ended question gives the seller a chance to disclose anything else that hasn’t been covered.
Remember, while sellers are usually required to disclose known issues, they might not volunteer information unless asked. Your real estate agent can help you formulate and ask these questions. Additionally, it’s important to corroborate the seller's answers with a professional home inspection to ensure there are no hidden problems. Asking the right questions can help you make an informed decision and feel confident in your home purchase.