6 Questions to Ask a Home Seller

Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2015 at 12:46am.

Prime Edmonton Real Estate - It is quite essential to spend enough time, money and energy while searching for the perfect house. So, by the time you're ready to buy, you'll certainly know a lot about the particular house and also all the other houses that you came across during your search. A small chat with the seller can fill in all the necessary details that help you make a better decision.

Here are some important questions that you need to ask the sellers:

1. Are There Any Neighborhood Problems?

There can be a number of problems or nuisances in the neighborhood including traffic congestion, traffic noise, speeding on community streets, crime rate, bothersome neighbors, poor maintenance and various odors of cigarette, litter, etc. It is obvious that you may not get a particularly detailed answer, but it's definitely a good idea to at least try to find out about any problems before taking a decision. In addition to asking the seller about the nuisances, you can also ask people in the neighborhood about your concern and you can also visit the local police department to research crime statistics of the neighborhood. This is crucial in order to know how to choose a neighborhood.

2. Why Are You Selling Your House?

Job relocation, desire to move into a smaller or larger house, crucial life events (marriage, a new member in the family, death of someone close) and retirement can be some of the many reasons why the seller wants to sell his or her house. You may not always get a truthful answer, but asking the seller why is he moving can be helpful in determining how much room there is for negotiation.

Of course, if the seller is in no hurry to sell the house, there may be little or no room for negotiation. However, if the seller is hasty to sell the house depending on the reason and urgency of moving, he or she may be willing to accept a lower offer.

3. How Long Has the Home Been On the Market?

The longer the house stays on the market, the harder it becomes to sell since the listing becomes 'old' and buyers inherently think that there must be something wrong with the property or the neighborhood. Another primary reason for the house staying on the market is that it was priced too high to begin with. There are possible chances that the seller may be motivated and more willing to negotiate, if the house has been on the market for a long time.

4. Have You Had Any Problems in the Past?

Depending on the disclosure rules which vary from state to state, home sellers generally must tell you about any current problems with the property. However, they don't have to necessarily tell you about any past problems that have been corrected. It doesn't matter if the problem was fixed, but it is significant to at least know if there were any problems in the past. Thus, make sure you ask them if the house has previously experienced any problems such as a leaky roof or damp walls because knowing these things will help you to be aware of the condition of the house.

5. How Much Did You Pay For the House And When?

It is important and useful to know how much the seller paid for the house. It lets you determine if values in the local market have gone up or down since the seller purchased the home. Additionally, it may help you determine how open the seller may be to negotiation.

For instance, if the seller bought the house at a very low price, there may be chances that he may be willing to move down on price since he will still make a reasonable profit. It the seller purchased the house for close to or more than the asking price, then perhaps he won't be willing to move down and incur loss.

6. How Old is the House?

This may not seem an important question to many, however, it carries its own significance at least to those who know the criticalities of an old home. You should be certainly be aware if there are any big expenses left unresolved or big repairs which can soon show up, because nobody would like to move into his or her new home and then after a month or so, begin wondering about the leaking roof, or the paint wearing off.

Newer roofs may last anywhere from 15 to 50 years, depending on the roofing material. E.g. an asphalt roof lasts about 15 to 20 years. You should also ask about the heating and cooling systems, water heater, septic, plumbing and other electrical systems.

While the marketing materials and listing include many details about a house such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the area, etc. it is equally important to talk to the seller as he can help you learn and interpret the best and the worst aspects of what you are getting into.

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