Guest Blog By: Lisa Roberts
Buying a home is arguably one of the most difficult things you will have to do in your lifetime. As a costly investment, it carries a great deal of risk, especially for inexperienced buyers. This is why people hire professional real estate agents – to help offset this risk. But, it is important to note that not all agents will be on your side. After all, it is in their best interest
to sell you a home. So, to help you figure out whether your agent is really trying to help you, and whether the home that they are presenting is worth your time, here are the top questions to ask your real estate agent when buying a home.
Top questions to ask your real estate agent when buying a home
Before we outline our questions, it is important to note that this is only one of the tools that you need to use while house hunting. To find a good real estate agent, you also need to check their track record and reviews. In regards to buying homes, you need to inspect the homes properly by having an expert by your side while you do so. So, consider these questions as valuable tools that you will use in combination with proper research and smart choices.
What would they do?
Your goal as a buyer working with a real estate agent should be to use their knowledge as much as possible. The more you can orient their experience to serve your cause, the better the odds that you will find a decent home. Therefore, one of the things to ask your agent when buying a house is what they would do if they were in your situation.
A good agent will take your financial situation and wishes into account and try to come up with a decent plan. Ideally, they will remain grounded while giving you smart advice on what to look and hope for. The more your agent seems committed to putting themselves in your shoes, the better.
Why are owners selling the home?
Once you are visiting a home with an agent, you should always ask them why the owners are selling it. A throwaway answer like “They are moving.” should be taken with a grain of salt. Most people have a good reason for selling their home, and they will usually tell the real estate agent. You can sometimes judge whether there is something wrong with the home by the urgency of the owner or the agent to sell it. So, inquire into the motives of the seller.
Can you meet the previous owners?
Whether we like it or not, our lifestyles impact our homes. Our everyday habits, general tidiness, and willingness to take care of our environment are all important. So, the more you can learn about the previous owners, the more you will know about the home.
Sometimes the owners have moved away, which makes meeting them difficult. But, there is no harm in asking your agent to contact them and arrange a meeting. If the owner turns out to be an honest, straightforward person that will tell you both good and bad things about their home, you should be thankful. But, if they avoid answering difficult questions and only highlight the good aspects of the home, you should be on the lookout.
How thorough can you be in your home inspection?
Before buying a home, you should always perform an inspection. If you are at all serious about buying it, your inspection should be as thorough as possible. So, before you start, ask your agent how thorough you can be. The more reluctant they are, the more suspicious you should be. Unfortunately, some agents will try to hide significant flaws. And the last thing you want is to find out about those flaws after the purchase.
How long has the home been for sale?
Any experienced agent can make a home seem like a steal. They will highlight the good things while ignoring or minimizing the bad ones. But, if there is one tell-tale sign that they cannot hide, it is the period in which the home has been for sale. No good home is on the market for too long. If the agent hasn’t managed to sell the home for months or years, it is usually because there is some major issue with it. This question is especially important to ask if you are new to real estate. Know that noticing major flaws with a home can be surprisingly tricky.
Are there any noteworthy plans in the local area?
One thing that homebuyers tend to forget is that the local area plays a big role in how comfortable your life will be. The neighborhood that you see now and the features that it offers can change. This is why it is always smart to ask your agent whether there are any plans for local area development. Try to learn whether the local park will become a shopping center before you imagining your future kids playing in it.
What are the neighbors like?
The final thing to ask your real estate agent when buying a home is what the neighbors are like and whether they can connect you with them. This is especially important to do if you plan on buying a home remotely. Ideally, you will meet them and get their info on the neighborhood and the previous owners. Remember that your neighbors can have a substantial impact on your life. Furthermore, you can learn a ton of info from them that your agent might not know or is willingly hiding from you.