Key Questions to ask your Real Estate Agent before Buying a Home
The current real estate market offers a number of great deals on homes
that would ordinarily have been out of the price range of many home
buyers just two to three years ago. As a result, many home buyers are
rushing out to snatch up good deals before the market begins to rebound.
Before making a hasty decision; however, it is important to make sure
that you find all you can to ensure that the home you are considering
really is a good deal. By asking your real estate agent a few pointed
questions, not only can you determine whether the home is really right
for you but also whether you are getting as good of a deal as you think
Why are the homeowners selling the property?
This should be one of the first questions that you pose to your real
estate agent when you have found a property that you are interested in.
Keep in mind that the real estate agent does not have to provide this
information to you but if you are able to find out more about such an
interesting tidbit of news it could let you know exactly how motivated
the sellers are to actually sell the home and how quickly they need to
do so. This can often translate into further savings.
How long has this home been on the market? Has this home had price
changes since it has been on the market?
The history of the listing can provide you with quite a bit of
interesting information. For example, a home that has been on the market
for several months and has had several price reductions will tell you
that the homeowners are probably going to be more likely to negotiate
than with a home that has been on the market for less time and has had
no price reductions to date.
Are the current owners up to date on their real estate taxes?
You always want to make sure you uncover this type of information. In
the event the current owners are behind on their taxes, this could be an
indication of a possible foreclosure. In this case, you may decide that
now is the time to bring in some strong negotiation tactics or you may
decide to wait it out and see what happens next.
Are comparable sales available to support the listing price for this
When a home is appraised before it is sold, statistics regarding the
sales prices of similar homes in the area are used. If you can obtain
such comparables from your real estate agent, you can make sure that the
home really is worth the money you are offering when you begin to make
arrangements for financing.
Can you tell me the average price per square foot in this community?
While all homes are different, this type of information will be useful
as well. This is because all homes must be assessed and the square
footage provided to the tax assessorís office. When you have this
information made available you will be able to determine where the home
you are considering ranks in comparison to other homes in the
Have other homes in the area been foreclosed upon? If so, how many?
How many other homes are currently in foreclosure?
A number of areas across the country are experiencing record high
numbers of foreclosures. In some areas, the majority of the homes for
sale are in foreclosure. If you are considering buying a home in one of
these areas, caution is recommended.
Where does this home rank in terms of pricing and other homes on this
Ideally, it is best to steer away from homes that are the most expensive
in their community. This is because those homes do not tend to resell
well in the future. Instead, look for homes that are in the
middle-priced range. These homes typically sell better and at better
Is there anything else I should know about this neighborhood?
You always want to make sure you have a complete picture of the
neighborhood in which you are considering living. Take the time to speak
wit your real estate agent about such topics as landfills, trash routes,
empty lots, auto repair shops and possible zoning changes.
How are homes in this area reassessed?
This is an absolute must if you want to avoid facing any tax surprises
in the future. Every area assesses real estate in a different manner. In
some areas, real estate is actually assessed at the time the title
passes. In other areas, this occurs only when capital improvements on
the property have been made. There are even some areas that only perform
reassessments every few years.