What questions are buyers asking?
As you begin working with an agent, it can be reassuring to know that the person you are working with will have open communication with you, and offer transparency and accurate knowledge of the market when you’re looking to buy.
Common questions we hear are, how long have you been an agent? How many homes do you help buyers purchase each year? How long do you usually work with buyers, from the first home you see together to the closing table?
While these questions are great for narrowing down who you work with, you will want to get down to real questions that will impact how effective working with this agent will be in finding your dream home, asking the right questions is key. An experienced real estate agent can help you narrow down your search, saving time and ensuring that you get the home you want and need in the process.
Questions that you should be asking that will impact the buying process will really support your overall buying experience.
1. What happens if the inspector finds something?
Finding out solutions for potential issues before finding out that your dream home has black mold hidden away, while this seems like something that could be an end all for buying that home, you should speak with your agent what to expect, what is the process should something arise with the house during this phase. Typically, terms can be worked out with the seller in the form of repairs to make up for any issues that need to be resolved that were noted in the inspection.
2. Is the home in a flood zone or prone to other natural disasters?
This is a major question! Homes that are located in a federally designated, high-risk flood zone require flood insurance. (Likewise, if you’re buying a home in California or another region where earthquakes are common, you may need to get earthquake insurance.) You will want to ensure you purchase enough homeowners insurance to cover the cost of completely rebuilding your home if it’s destroyed. If a major disaster hits and you’re underinsured, you could be left footing a massive bill to repair or rebuild your home.
3. Why is the seller moving?
It is important to gain a deeper perspective of why the seller is leaving, maybe it’s due to a major life event or relocating because of family, or work. This insight can often help you in getting the best deal on this property. When I work with a client, I will find out as much of these details as possible, so that I can best gauge how flexible a seller might be. For instance, if we know our seller has a new job to start in the upcoming months and the house has been on the market that they are more likely to work with you because they are motivated to sell quickly at this stage.
4. What have other homes sold for in this community?
Be more aware of your surroundings, take in what similar homes have gone for lately to judge if this price feels right for you. Your agent can provide you a comparative market analysis to give you a better perspective of what a reasonable offer will be based on what the other properties in this community have gone for in this area, doing this will help improve the odds of if the seller will accept your offer. No need to overbid and pay more than you should!
5. With Things Like Zillow, Do We Need an Agent?
Real estate listings are among the many things that are available online these days. It can be easy for home buyers to feel like they do not need a real estate agent. While websites like Zillow, Trulia and Redfin can be great for the start of a search, it is best not to rely solely on them. They are no replacement for the personalized service of an agent who can get to know their clients.
You should have a relationship with your agent that allows for you to ask the questions you need to gain the clarity and confidence you deserve during your buying process. I have a resource that will help you map out all your utility needs, reducing the overwhelm during the moving process here.