The process of searching for your dream home can be overwhelming. There are many factors to consider other than the homes you view, such as the neighborhood, local schools, and surrounding area. When you go to an open house, it’s important to get as much information as possible from the real estate agent. These 8 questions to ask an agent at an open house will help you paint a picture of what it would be like to live there and how you can make a competitive offer.
1. What is the seller’s timeline?
It’s helpful to know how soon the sellers want to sell the home. Whether it’s good timing to be on the market or if they want to wait until the summer when their kids have finished school, knowing the seller’s timeline will help you make a competitive offer based on both their needs and yours.
2. Why are the sellers moving?
Find out what is prompting the sellers to move. Is the neighborhood unsafe? Is the area noisy? Maybe the sellers are simply downsizing, or retiring to a vacation house. Whatever the reason, this will help you gauge what it’s like to live in the area. Be sure to read the agent for any hesitation or uneasiness with the question.
3. When was the house last updated?
It’s easy to determine if it’s been years since the house was painted or the floors were refinished. Natural wear and tear is typically noticeable in these areas. However, it’s harder to know how old the roof is, for example. Ask the agent about the latest updates and be sure to consider these factors when making an offer.
4. What are the average utility costs of the house?
Every home has different energy efficiencies and utility costs. This is an important factor to inquire about, especially if you’re upgrading to a larger home where the costs might be higher.
5. What is the neighborhood like?
The listing agent should be able to provide detailed information on the neighborhood and surrounding area. Is the neighborhood family-friendly? Are there many retired people? Is there a vibrant community in the town? Find out what the neighborhood offers and the demographic of the residents to compare to your needs.
6. Where is the closest grocery store, restaurant, etc?
Is it important that you are close to a grocery store, fun restaurants, or schools? Determine your needs in a community and be sure to ask the listing agent how accessible your essential amenities are.
7. How many offers have been made on the home?
Knowing how many offers the home has received will help you determine how soon you should act on making your offer. It’s helpful to be aware of any competition while considering the seller’s timeline.
8. Are there any current issues with the house?
Although sellers are required to disclose information on any issues with the home, the listing agent may divulge more details than you’d otherwise receive about the house. This is helpful information to know and consider ahead of time. You can also request a written seller’s disclosure form from the agent at the open house.