KEY Questions to ask at an Open House!


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Open houses are a great way to gather quite a bit of information about a home in a relatively short amount of time.  Most often the listing agent is present and is ready and willing to answer all of your questions that you may have about a home. What questions should you ask? This list is a great start and will help cut to the chase on what is most important about the home.

1. How long has the home been on the market?

This is probably one of the most common questions buyers will ask an agent. Getting the the bottom of why a house hasn’t sold is always important because it can give you clues about the home’s value and desirability. Most often, pricing is the reason homes don’t sell right away, but it could be the area, neighbors, negative home history, etc. Knowing how long a home has been on the market can also give you negotiating power if you decide to make an offer.

2. Have their been any renovations or updates made to the home?

Sometimes renovations or home updates are hard to spot, so it is important to ask. As a buyer you need to know how old the roof is, for instance. With older homes you may want to ask about the electrical and plumbing systems. Fundamental aspects of the home like a roof, wiring, or plumbing are expensive to update, so you want to be aware if you as the new owner should expect to pay for them at some point. It will give you peace of mind piece of mind when you know that the major mechanical systems in a home have been updated.

3. Have there been any changes in the price of the home?

If there have been multiple drops in the price, it is a good idea to look carefully at the home and ask your agent about the situation. The seller’s real estate agent can give you the low-down on any drops in the price of the home, and why the price dropped. This information can help you gauge whether the price is flexible, which may mean you can get the home for an even better price.

4. Have there been any offers on the home?

If you are interested in the home, you definitely want to be aware if there is any competition. If the home has been on the market for a while understanding whether there has been an offer in the past may also be helpful to know. Maybe the owner should have taken an offer right out of the gate and are now kicking themselves that they didn’t do so. Who knows, their motivation to sell quickly may also have changed.

5. What are the average utility costs?

You want your new home to be affordable; and sometimes the utility costs can be a deciding factor on whether you buy or not. Depending on the size of the home, the HVAC system and how energy efficient the home is, you may be looking at a much higher utility bill than you are used to. Ask to see utility bills so you can get an idea of what your costs will be. Utilities can be costly in certain homes, and are an expense that you should include in your calculations for what you can afford over the long-term.

6. How is the neighborhood?

Asking about the neighborhood can give you a good idea if it will fit with your lifestyle. Buyers often think about the home far more than the area and later regret their choice. Living in a home is about more than just the physical property. You definitely want to have an idea of what the area is like, particularly the surrounding neighborhood and the neighbors living closest to you. Knowing how to pick a neighborhood that suites your lifestyle is always an important consideration. Sometimes retirees or families prefer to live next to other people in a similar stage in life. Younger buyers might want an area where it is easy to walk to restaurants and bars. Almost everyone will want to know where the closest major shopping center is located.

Final Thoughts

Information is valuable and powerful. The more you know the easier it will be to make an educated decision on which home is right for you,  and will help you as you negotiate the best price. Happy hunting!

Bunny Terry 505.504.1101

20 Vereda Serena Santa Fe, NM 87508