Thank you to Christian Sidwell, Realtor for joining us on this episode on Waypoint Real Talk! Christian was able to bring his insight on what to ask your real estate agent during the home buying process.
Listen to the Full Podcast:
Questions Buyers Should Ask Their Realtor
The following questions can begin after the initial buyer interview. For more information, listen/watch to the podcast above.
Understand your agent may request a “Broker – Buyer” agreement to be signed mutually agreeing to work solely with one another before the next step which is to speak to a lender and get pre approved for a loan. Getting a pre-approval is should always be your first step!
1. What is the market like in this neighborhood?
Understanding the neighborhood market will better help you make decisions regarding the property values long term.
Also, if a neighborhood is considered “hot”, be aware you may have to bring in an offer at, or above the list price.
2. What is this particular property worth in this market?
This question is somewhat similar to the one stated above.
However, while the first question focuses on the neighborhood market, this question is strictly regarding one home.
Asking what the property is worth in the current market can help you make a better decision with your offer.
3. Are there any sellers’ disclosures & did the seller live in the property?
Sellers are required to disclose important items about the property that could affect its value. For example, if the home had a flood, fire, or mechanical failures.
Additionally, if you knew a seller lived in the property rather than a tenant, you can be more confident that the home was well cared for.
4. How long has this property been on the market?
Knowing how long a property has been on the market is critical towards your offer.
For example, if a nice property just listed on the market then you can expect the sellers to receive many offers in a hot market.
On the other hand, if there is a hot real estate market and a property has been on the market for a while compared to other properties, there might be something wrong with the home/price.
5. Why are the sellers selling this property? How long have they occupied the property?
Understanding why sellers are selling again is another critical component to making a good purchase/offer decision.
If the sellers are selling to be closer to family, then that is great. But, if the sellers are selling because the neighbors are annoying, then, you might want to consider if you can live with that.
While the sellers most likely will not tell you the real reason why they are selling (if it can negatively affect the property value), you can also try to understand how long they have lived in the property.
To illustrate, if the seller has only lived in the home less than a year, then, they should have a very good explanation for why they are wanting to move.
6. What is the average sales price to list price?
While this question is more numbers related, it can be critical to understand.
If the actual sales to list price of a neighborhood is 102%, then, the homes are typically selling for over listing price by 2%.
Conversely, if the actual sales to list price is 95%, then the homes are typically selling under the listing price by 5%.
Knowing the average sales to list price can help you budget your total costs to get into a neighborhood. Also, this can help you make your offer more competitive in a hot market.
7. How often has this particular property been sold?
If a home has been sold quite often in comparative to other homes, that would be good information to know as there might be something wrong with the house.
However, you should consider the lifestyle of the home as townhomes might have a higher sales rate than single family homes.
8. When would the sellers have to move out?
Knowing when the sellers absolutely have to move out can help you ensure you can also meet your deadlines.
Moreover, you offer can become more competitive if you offer a shorter contract period.
9. How much are the property taxes & utilities?
While this question is more self-explanatory, I will elaborate anyway.
As an example, some townhomes might offer free water with the HOA fee. This can help you stay within your budget.
10. Does the seller have documents for the mechanical & appliances?
Having documentation is very important for not only troubleshooting, but also for warranties.
Warranties are quite common on appliances like A/C’s and appliances so asking for this information might allow you to transfer warranties into your name.
Thank you again to Christian Sidwell with the Journey Partners Team for sharing your knowledge and expertise!
If you have not already, check out our past podcast with Christian.
Where to find Christian Sidwell: