10 Investigative Questions to Ask a Home SellerDec 2020 29 / 0 Comments
Once you’ve found a property you like, it’s time to start asking the important questions to make sure it really is your dream home. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller questions; a new home is a huge investment and it’s important that you make the right choice for yourself.
We've come up with 10 questions to ask the seller to make sure you have the bigger picture before making an offer.
Are there any problems with the house?
Although it is certainly worth asking, you are unlikely to discover all the defects within a property from grilling the sellers – this is where a survey comes in handy! Contact us to provide an in-depth inspection of the property to ensure that you won’t have to fork out on repairs in the future
What is the phone reception like and what are broadband speeds like?
Most of us use our mobile phones every day, so make sure you can get good reception, or at least prepare yourself if you can’t! Some areas may be unable to get certain types of the internet such as fiber. Make sure you know which services are available so you can get the best deal before you move in.
Why have they decided to sell?
As long as they are happy to tell you, find out why the sellers are looking to move. This can ease any worry you have about the property and the location. If their reason suggests that they could be keen to sell quickly, such as relocating for a job that is starting soon, you could potentially renegotiate on price. They could be moving for reasons related to problems with the house or neighbourhood – although they’re unlikely to tell you truthfully, it’s worth asking.
How long has the house been on the market?
Property that has been on the market for a long time may have issues that need investigating. You may also be able to knock down the price a little!
What items will be included with the purchase?
Sometimes, sellers will leave unwanted pieces of furniture or appliances. Find out if anything will be left behind and factor that into your moving plans. Anything permanently attached within the property is considered a ‘fixture’ and is usually included in the sale (e.g. faucets and cabinets), but make sure you ask and get it in writing. You don’t want to move in and discover that the lovely fixtures that you admired before are missing!
Have there ever been any disturbances in the neighbourhood?
You may not get a detailed answer, but you can at least try to find out as much information about the area as possible. Things to look out for are lots of traffic, speeding vehicles, endless road maintenance or not enough maintenance, noise from neighbours, traffic or nearby businesses, high crime rates, bad odours such as cigarette smoke from adjoining houses, fly-tipping, and general disturbances.
What is public transport like?
You may rely on public transport, so find out what routes and options are available to you beforehand.
How old is the house?
This can guide you about timescales and maintenance costs for any renovations or any parts that may need replacing after you’ve moved in.
What has been the best part of living on the property?
Find out what the seller enjoyed most about living in the property. This can help you visualize what it’s like to live there long-term. Does the property have insulation and when was it installed? This can help you decide if this is a cost that needs to be factored into the asking price.
Lead paints and Natural Hazard
Disclosure statements serve to inform buyers about a home’s condition and help protect sellers from future legal action if problems are found. While disclosures vary by state and even county, sellers must make disclosures about such items as existing liens, lead-based paint, natural hazards (e.g., floodplain), termite problems, history of property-line disputes, and defects in major systems and/or appliances
Listing and marketing materials include lots of details about a house (the number of bedrooms and baths, and the square footage, for example), and the showing lets you see it firsthand. But talking to the seller can help you learn exactly what you could be getting into. If you have difficulty being able to connect with the seller, try to get some of these questions answered through your real estate agent.
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