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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 as well.

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 home?

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 neighborhood.

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 block?

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 prices.

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.



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