6 Important questions to ask before buying a house

Before deciding to make an offer on a house, it is very important to do your due diligence and try to find out as much information as possible about the property. Asking the right questions before buying a house will reduce the chances of rude surprises when you move in.

Here are a few of these questions you should ask before making an offer:

·      Ask your agent what kind of a market you are dealing in. Your agent should conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA) by seeking information about comparable sales, or “comps.” If homes are staying for many days on the market, you will know that you are buying in a buyer’s market. This information will help you be more aggressive while negotiating with sellers.

·      You should ask whether the asking price is negotiable. Many sellers tend to overprice their home to leave room for negotiation. Don’t make a lowball offer, only to find that seller’s asking price is non-negotiable.

·      You should also ask whether the seller is willing to pay or share closing costs. Many sellers try to sweeten the deal by offering to share closing costs, but if you don’t even ask, you won’t know such an offer exists in the first place.

·      Ask the seller if there are any defects with the property. In some states, sellers need to fill up a disclosure form with details of any material defects. Even if you are being provided a disclosure form, but you should ask if the seller would like to share anything additional about the property’s condition.

·      Make sure you ask what kinds of insurance policies you will need to take out. For example, living in a flood plain can require flood insurance, which can affect the cost of living in the house. Once you have some information, you can determine whether you can afford this additional cost.

·      You should also find out seller has the right to sell the house. In some cases like a short-sale, sellers can’t put the property on the market without securing permission from their lender. If you buy a home that is being advertised as short-sale, but the owner doesn’t have the right to sell the property, you will be deep in trouble.

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