Buying a home is one of the essential investments you will ever make. It is, therefore, necessary to dedicate your time and energy into searching for your dream home. Fortunately, you can browse the homes for sale in Austin, TX, in the comfort of your home and identify the best. Asking the seller a few questions about the house and reading blog posts online can provide valuable information that can guide your decision. By the time you want to make an offer, you should have all the information you need. Here are a few critical questions you should ask before you make an offer:
1. Why Are You Selling Your Home?
Homeowners sell their houses for different reasons. Some want to relocate for job-related reasons or life events like marriage while others desire to get bigger or smaller homes. Although asking this question doesn’t always draw truthful answers, it can give you an idea why the owner wants to sell it. This will help you determine whether there is room for negotiations. If you don’t meet the owner of the house, ask his real estate agent to ask this question for you.
Homeowners with genuine and urgent reasons for moving out may accept lower offers so they can relocate faster. If the seller has all the time to find the best deal, they have little room for negotiation.
2. How Long Has The Home Stayed On The Market?
Poor pricing strategy is one of the primary reasons most homes remain in the market for long. A house that has been in the Austin real estate market for long is quite hard to sell. Every potential buyer thinks that there is something wrong with it. Besides, very few people are willing to consider old listings. The good news is that this can work to your advantage because the seller might be more willing to negotiate and lower the price.
3. How Much Did You Spend On The House?
Finding out how much the homeowner paid for the house is quite essential. First, it helps you determine if there is room for negotiation and whether the property value has gone up or down since then. If the seller bought the house at a low price, they may reduce the price and still make some profit from the deal. If they had paid an amount close to their current asking price, they are less likely to lower the cost further.
Some sellers are not willing to disclose the amount they paid for the property. If that is the case, you can check with the relevant public records available in the land offices. Your real estate agent can also help you find out.
4. What Is Included In The Closing Price?
All fixtures permanently attached to the home are included in the house for sale. This includes cabinets, windows and faucets. While the law is clear on what is included in a home sale, some features are hard to tell and may complicate the deal. It is advisable to find out what is included in the sale and put it in writing to avoid surprises later. Also, pay attention to sheds, lighting fixtures, appliances, window treatments, play equipment, wall-mounted systems and everything else that you wouldn’t want to miss in your new home.
5. Are There Nuisances Or Problematic Neighbors?
Your new home may be affected by several nuisances, including traffic congestion, noise, litter, bright lights, poor maintenance and disturbing neighbors. Ask about crime rates, bothersome odors, presence of snakes or hostile dogs and anything that may affect your life. Besides asking the seller about the neighborhood, visit the police department and find out about crime rates and relevant information about the neighborhood.
6. Does The House Have Structural Problems?
Disclosure statements reveal the current conditions of the house and protect the seller from lawsuits if any problems are found. The seller must disclose:
• Natural hazards
• Property disputes
• Structural defects
• Termite problems
• Existing Liens
• Use of lead-based paints
You need to find out more about the property from the seller or the realtor because they probably know something that they are not required by the law to disclose. The information you gather can help you figure out what you are getting into and assess the situation. It is also possible to negotiate for repairs costs or lower house prices. Even if you ask this question and get satisfactory answers, a comprehensive inspection is necessary to unearth issues that the seller didn’t disclose or doesn’t know about.
7. What House Problems Have You Experienced In The Past?
Even though the law requires the seller to disclose any current problems, it is essential to dig deep into the past. Issues that have already been fixed could arise in the future. Most home buyers don’t mind about past problems. If a leaking roof was repaired, the water could have ended in the attic. Knowing of the previous issues will help you get prepared for a possible reoccurrence of the problem.
8. How Old Is The House?
Ask about the age of essential features in the house. If the roofing has reached the average lifespan, you need to prepare to incur additional costs shortly. Also, ask about the age of electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, septic and plumbing systems and essential appliances. This will guide your expectations before buying a home.
9. What Major Home Renovation Projects Have You Carried Out?
Poor past renovation projects might cost you a fortune in the future. Structural problems could result in financial and emotional problems especially because you will be paying your mortgage. Ask about past repairs and renovation projects and find out the contractors responsible for the project. This will help you avoid disappointments and additional costs after sealing the deal.
The home seller needs to provide documentation for structural additions, relocating plumbing fixtures, adding electrical outlets and repairing HVAC systems. If the documents are not available, you might have to check with the building department if the permits were issued or not. The Austin real estate agent can help you find out if the home you are about to buy has satisfied all regulatory requirements.
10. What Do You Like Most About Your Home?
You should not always focus on what could go wrong; ask about the positive aspects of the home, neighborhood or the surrounding communities. Find out about friendly neighbors, local library, low energy bills, beautiful views and anything else you might also like about it. Remember this could be your selling points later if you are buying the house for resale.
Real estate listing includes a lot of information about homes available for sale. The standard report provides for the number of bedrooms, square footage, kitchen, bathroom and other key features. Talking to the seller or a real estate agent can help you find out more about the home. Before buying a house in Austin, TX, take your time and find the answers to the questions we have highlighted above. This will provide additional details about the property that can help you to make an informed decision. If you are looking for a home, you can contact Dacko Realty for local Austin real estate knowledge. Our professionals will help you find a right home for sale.