You’ve finally found your dream home! So, what’s next? There is so much to know about the process of purchasing and the home itself that some questions may be forgotten or overlooked. Here are some questions you may want to ask your Realtor when buying a home:
What is the home’s sale history?
This is public knowledge as it is posted on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). However, it may be difficult to find if you are not familiar with certain websites. The sale history of a home can tell you a lot about a house, in some instances. It can give you a sense of what the sellers might expect you to pay – but a home’s true market value is based on comparable homes are selling for now rather than what it went for in the past. It can show you whether the home’s price has been trending up or down over time, which can help in negotiating a price. The sale history can also show if the property has ever been conditionally sold and the cumulative days on the market. Check for those red flags!
Did the sellers make any major renovations or additions?
It’s good to know if the home owner(s) gutted the kitchen, added a bedroom, or finished the basement. Ideally, ask for receipts from contractors to get a sense of what they paid for these upgrades and ask/check for necessary buildings permits. This will allow you and your Realtor to ballpark how much money they’ve put into the home, and what they hope to get out of it.
How much are the property taxes?
Property tax history is also typically available right on the listing detail page. Knowing the property tax can help you could budget when putting together an offer, as it can be a huge additional expense.
What are the monthly maintenance and utility costs?
Ask if there are any type of homeowners association fee. Even if you know it’s not a condo, sometimes there could be hidden costs. Learn what kind of power the house uses and what the average monthly bill for each is. Also inquire about water, waste removal, and any other utility costs that are applicable.