Questions You Should Ask Your Real Estate Broker Before Buying
Buying a new home is a fun, but tedious process. There are so many things to consider, such as how well the property is projected to profit financially, whether there are upgrades you’ll need to sink your money into, or if it’s a place you can even call home. Luckily, we have real estate brokers to help ease the process.
Real estate agents know the ins and outs of real estate, from insider tips for what to look for before buying, to the best geographical locations to get the most for your money. A great real estate agent doesn’t feel like a salesperson. Instead, they should act more like guides on your journey to your new home. For the best questions to ask your real estate broker before buying your home, continue reading.
How Long Have You Been an Agent?
New agents know all of the necessary information to be a great real estate broker, but they may not be able to anticipate problems before they come up. Having a veteran on your side sets you up for success due to their years of experience and in-depth location knowledge.
An experienced real estate professional may possibly have connections with mortgage brokers who can pre-qualify buyers. This way, a loan will be ready if needed. If you do need to use a loan to purchase your home, there are online loan calculators to help you understand what your payments will be.
Another reason to ask your agent how long they’ve been working for is to tap into their connections. They will probably have relationships with other real estate agents who can help you find more listings faster than one professional working alone.
Can I See Your Real Estate License?
As obvious as this question may seem, there are a lot of real estate scams out there in the world. Be certain that the real estate professional you are working with is a licensed professional. That way you won’t have to deal with any issues later as a result of working with an unlicensed agent.
What Locations Offer the Best Bang for the Buck
Knowing how the market is doing in a specific area before you buy will help you a great deal when purchasing real estate. Most people buy homes to set family roots, but eventually, many of these families end up leaving once their kids have left the nest. This leaves the homeowner with a choice to sell and move into a smaller home or continue to live in their family-sized house.
Fortunately, a great real estate agent will tell you beforehand whether you can expect your prospective house to decline or grow in value over the foreseeable future. While a real estate agent will provide you with great answers to your questions, they won’t be able to do all of the research for you.
Check to see which school district the home falls under, and review the ratings of local schools in the area. Families should also see how long it takes to commute to school or to work. Those who want to live closer to a city’s bustling social scene may have to sacrifice time sitting in the car during rush hour.
Your real estate agent, if they are experienced, will be able to provide you with all of these answers and more to help you find the best deal, in the perfect area for you.
Ask About the Price
As a prospective buyer, you should set a budget upfront and see which homes fall in your price range when starting your search. This will help your real estate broker to be realistic with your time and money when choosing a home.
When your real estate agent starts to show you around to different homes, ask what the offering price of the home is based on. Some homes may be extremely low for a reason, and you’ll want to make sure you know what that reason is before you move to buy it. Other homes may have a higher price due to a recent addition or home upgrade such as a modernized kitchen.
When you make your offer, you should base your decision on the prices that other homes in the area have sold for, not what your real estate agent is trying to sell. There are simple ways to help bolster your negotiating, too.
For instance, see how many offers the home has received. Homes with multiple offers sell quickly, so a buyer may need to make a strong offer for something they are set on. It also helps to find out how long a home has been on the market. The longer a home is up for sale, the more likely a buyer could get a discount.
What to Look for When Considering a Home’s Condition
A broker can help buyers estimate repair costs for major projects. Ask about the roof’s age, as newer roofs can last for decades. If a roof needs repair, it’s important to determine if the buyer or the seller will end up paying.
Check to see if the walls and attic have insulation, especially if the home is located in a colder climate. The U.S. Department of Energy previously recommended an upgrade if a home has insulation with a thickness of fewer than 11 inches. Putting this upgrade in can help a family save up to $600 a year on energy costs.
You should also review the home’s plumbing history with the real estate broker. Ask if the sewer line has experienced any issues, as well as the plumbing. Burst pipes are one of the top homeowner’s insurance claims, so homebuyers should make sure exposed pipes are protected.
Previous owners should disclose any water damage, but an inspector can review the home to be sure. Long-term water damage can lead to mold and rot wooden beams. Both are dangerous to people’s health and expensive to fix.
Real estate professionals ease the process of home buying, but it’s up to you to ask the right questions to receive the answers you need. Be thorough when you are making your decisions, you’ll be spending a significant portion of your time transforming the house into a home, make sure it’s the one you want.