Posted by Marie Presti on 12/3/2017

If this is your first time buying a home, you might be worried that you arenít asking enough questions. Or maybe youíre concerned youíre not asking the right questions--the things that matter the most when making a financial decision as important and life-changing as buying a home.  

While everyoneís situation is unique when buying a home, there are some questions that all buyers could benefit from asking. These questions will help you learn more about the home, how competitive the house is, and how much work youíll need to put into it.

Since time is usually of the essence for people buying a home, it makes sense to ask questions early on so that you donít waste too much time exploring an option that isnít ideal for your situation.

In this article, weíre going to give you 5 important questions to ask when you talk to a seller and their agent so that you can be prepared to make the best decision for you or your family.

1. How flexible is the asking price?

While few sellers or agents will outright tell you if theyíd accept a lower offer, itís still a good idea to ask this question, as it will open up a conversation about the sellerís feelings toward the home and whether theyíre pricing high with the hopes of receiving slightly lower offers.

2. How many offers has the home received?

It may seem counterintuitive, but most agents and sellers will be quite happy to tell you if theyíve received other offers. They know that once you know the current offer youíll have to either come up with a higher offer or move on. Itís a win-win for you and the seller, as it equips both of you with information you need to make the best choice.

3. Why are the sellers moving away?

This question can be personal, so if you receive an answer that suggests itís a family matter, donít press for too many details. However, some sellers and agents will let you know exactly why the house is for sale. From this simple question, you can learn the sellerís timeline for making the sale, details about the schools or neighborhoods, and any other reason that might drive someone to move out of the neighborhood.

4. Are there any problems with the house that you know of?

Although youíll have an inspection contingency in your contract if you do decide to make an offer on the home, itís better to know if there are any issues with the home before going through the bidding process.

Most sellers understand this and will be upfront about any problems with the home, including repairs that need to be made now or will need to be made soon after you move in.

5. What is the average cost of utilities?

Buying a home comes with a lot of added costs and fees. However, many people forget about the changes in the cost of utilities that comes with buying a home--especially if youíre moving from an apartment where some utilities may have been included.

The seller will be able to give you a good estimate on the cost of electricity, garbage removal, internet, heat, and more.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marie Presti on 10/19/2014

When you walk into an open house and see the home you want to buy, before you start working with the seller's agent, you need to understand who that agent is working for. Many buyers do not understand that the seller's agent has a fiduciary duty or a duty of loyalty to the homeowner. While agency laws differ from state to state they have the same general principles: Typically an agent represents either the buyer or the seller. However, in some cases an agent will assume the role of a dual agent (representing both the seller and the buyer). Make sure to check the agency laws specific to your state, but in general agents fall into these categories: Seller's Agent: A seller's agent works for the real estate company that lists and markets the property for the seller, exclusively representing the interest of the seller. Buyer's Agent: Some states may have written agreements regarding buyer agency. A buyer agent assists the buyer in evaluating properties, preparing offers, and negotiating in the best interest of the buyer. Dual Agency: Dual agency occurs when the buyer's agent and the seller's agent are the same person or company (depending on state law). Dual agents do not act exclusively in the interests of either the seller or buyer. Dual agents cannot offer undivided loyalty to either party. A conflict of interest can arise because the interests of the seller and buyer may be different or adverse. A buyer and seller must agree to dual agency. Always ask your real estate agent about the agency laws in your state. Many states require buyers and sellers to sign a disclosure form at the first meeting between the agent and potential client.