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10 Important Questions You Should Ask the Seller Before You Buy the House

Main Treasure Valley Life

There is so much to consider before buying a home: Home price, location, taxes, neighborhood, commute, schools, needed versus completed repairs. The list goes on and on, and you can’t leave any stone unturned. But we have asked our realtors to identify some of the best questions to ask before you decide to buy a house. 

We broke them down and explained why these questions are important below.

What am I going to pay each month to keep this house running?

At this point, you should already be pre-approved for a mortgage, so you should already have a budget in mind when it comes to home prices as well as monthly costs. Be sure to ask the sellers and the seller’s agent this question to see if the house is in your comfortable budget category. Be sure to ask about HOA fees and rules as well.

Is this house in a flood zone?

This question is important for two reasons: taxes/insurance and overall safety. If you are in a flood-prone area, insurance for rebuilding will add up quickly. In addition, you need to keep the safety of your family and pets in mind when considering the frequency and intensity of potential floods.

When are the sellers looking to close and move out?

If the sellers are on a time constraint, they will not be interested in drawn-out negotiations. With this in mind, you may be able to get a good price quickly and be able to move in sooner.

Why are the sellers looking to close and move out?

Related to the previous question, you need to find out the seller’s reasons for leaving. It could be a new job, needing more space, or problems with the neighborhood or HOA. These are important and potentially easily overlooked reasons to buy or walk away from the sale.

What is the market like in the neighborhood?

Take some time to see if there are any other homes for sale<> in the subdivision. If there are a lot of people moving out, it could be a bad sign. If not, then you probably don;t have anything to worry about in that case. Also, find out what other houses in the neighborhood have sold and bought for in the past, as well as how long people have lived there. These are good indicators of whether or not you the sellers are asking a reasonable price for their home.

What is life like in the neighborhood?

Are there a lot of kids (This can be a positive or negative depending on your lifestyle)? Does a train roll by at 1 in the morning every other day? Is it close to a busy road? What are the demographics of the community? All of these lifestyle questions give you a better picture of what living there is like on a day-to-day basis.

What is on the seller’s disclosure?

Sellers are required by law to disclose any problems with the house, whether or not they have been fixed, and when they were fixed. This information can also be discovered by a home appraiser. If there is a glaring or dangerous flaw with the house, it will affect the sale.

Have the owners filed any insurance claims in recent years?

It is a great idea to find out whether the current owners have filed insurance paperwork due to vandalism, natural disasters, or other damage to the home. Like some of the previous questions, this will help you learn the full history of the house.

Where can I find paperwork for the home’s appliances and systems?

It is important to know when appliances, roofing, HVAC, sprinkler systems, water heaters, and other important systems were replaced or repaired. Ask for records of these so you can anticipate when they will need replaced or serviced again. It will help if many of these appliances and systems are still under warranty. It will also give you phone numbers and names of who fixed or installed them in case something goes wrong

Would you buy this house?

It is important to ask the seller’s agent and your own agent if they would be interested in the house. This may reveal previously unknown perks of the house as well as any hesitations. If real estate professionals aren’t enthusiastic about the home itself (discounting personal taste, of course), it may be a sign that you should keep your options open.

If you are ready to buy or sell, now is the perfect time to act. Give our team of local experts a call at 208.629.0217 to discuss your needs and set an appointment.

We also offer a free, no-obligation home valuation for those looking to sell. Find out what your home is worth.

Posted by AndrewS at 5/23/2020 1:39:00 AM

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