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The Home Buyer’s Checklist: Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Looking for home buying advice? We can help!

Generally, the type of information you want to gather before buying falls into four main categories:

Offering price: What do you base it on?  As a buyer, you should base your offer on the comparable completed sales nearby. Not necessarily what other sellers are asking for their homes.

What is the condition of the home? Ask about estimates for repairs and don’t assume everything will cost thousands. There’s also a chance the cost of anticipated repairs has already been factored into the sales price.

Location of Home: It’s all about location, location, location. Don’t be afraid to ask about negatives and nuances. A home’s location has a pretty significant impact on the sales price. Keep in mind if the location will make reselling difficult down the line.

Do you have a good buyers agent?  Committing to buying a home can feel like a pretty overwhelming task, but it isn’t if you find the right real estate agent.

We’ve broken down specific questions to ask for each of the categories listed below!

Attending open houses is a great chance to ask the listing agent questions about a home you are interested in.

7 Questions to ask about the listing price

Home buyers usually compare the prices of similar homes in an area before choosing a price, but keep in mind the asking price has very little to do with the actual value of the home.

  • How much did the seller pay?
  • Why is the seller selling?
  • How much does the seller owe?
  • How much have similar homes in the area sold for? When?
  • Has the seller received any other offers? How many & how much?
  • How long has the listing been on the market?
  • Has the house been relisted? If so, when & why?

5 Questions to ask about the condition of the listing

If you already know a home has deferred maintenance or structural issues, it’s important to consider the possible costs down the line before making your initial offering. Ideally, you want to direct these questions to the listing and buying agents you are working with.

  • How old is the roof?
  • What type of foundation does the listing have?
  • Does the house have insulation in the walls and attic?
  • What are the utilities like per month?
  • Have any appliances or systems been replaced? When?

5 Questions to ask about the location of the listing

Listings that are in more desirable areas are often worth more than similar listings in locations that are less desirable. Talk about the home’s location with your buying agent and listing agent, as well as the seller.

  • What type of properties are located nearby?
  • What is the neighborhood like? Demographics?
  • What type of noise does the seller hear from the house? (train tracks?)
  • Where are the schools?
  • What are other possible nuisance factors?

15 Questions to ask when hiring a real estate buying agent

Hiring a great buyers agent is key to buying a home. Keep the items below in mind when interviewing a realtor to represent you as a buyers agent.

  • How long have you had your real estate license?
  • Do you require buyers to sign any contracts or agreements?
  • How many listings did you sell as a buyers agent last year? This year?
  • How many prospective buyers are you currently working with?
  • On average, how many homes do you tend to show buyers?
  • What experience do you have selling homes in my target areas?
  • Can you provide any sort of testimonials or previous client contact information?
  • How do YOU (as an agent) determine which homes may match my wants or needs?
  • How do you provide information about these possible homes?
  • What methods of communication do you utilize?
  • Do you attend inspections?
  • How do you negotiate our requests from inspectors?
  • Do you have a real estate website or blog?
  • Are there any trustworthy professionals you can recommend me?
  • Do you require a pre-qualification or pre-approval before looking at listings?

Bottom line: always ask questions before buying

When the housing market is hot, you may not have enough time to ask any questions before that home is sold to somebody else.

Always be sure to ask your buying agent for professional insights into the type of market you are looking at!

Looking for a real estate agent to answer some questions you have as a first-time buyer? We service the greater Greenwich, CT area!


Learn more about the Greenwich real estate market forecast for 2019.

12 reasons residents love living in Greenwich

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