Buying A House? Here Are Smart Questions To Ask A Home Seller

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Caroline Soriano
July 14, 2023
8 minutes, 13 seconds
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Owning a house is one of the largest single investments you’ll ever make, and it usually starts with house hunting. 

When you buy real estate in Indiana, you’ll spend a lot of time, energy, and effort searching for the home you like. So before you close any deal, write down a list of potential questions and ask the owner before you decide to buy the property. 

It’s always a good idea to do detective work and get some answers. It may not only give you peace of mind, but it will also save you from any financial problems in the future.

Why Are You Moving?

There are many reasons people move, such as the desire to move to a larger house, job relocation, moving to another state or country, life events, marriage, etc. 

It’s good to ask this question though sometimes they won’t give you an honest answer, but it can still be helpful when you make room for negotiation.

What Are The Average Monthly Expenses?

Ask a utility to run a check and maintenance cost of the house. It’s hard to know the true cost of a house, so getting help from a knowledgeable person can save you every month.

By knowing your average water, electricity, and gas bill, you can determine if you can afford the house plus its monthly bills.

Length Of Time It Was On The Market

You can directly ask the seller or the real estate agent how long the house has been on the market. One of the reasons a house ends up staying on the market for long is because of its high price or because there’s something wrong with the property. The more the house spends on the market the more power you have to make room for negotiation to lower its asking price.

What Is Included In The Sale?

You can directly ask the seller or the real estate agent how long the house has been on the market. 

One of the reasons a house ends up staying on the market longer than usual is either it's too expensive or the property itself. The more the house spends on the market, the more power you have to make room for negotiation to lower its asking price.

Previous Selling Prices

If you know the previous price of the house, you can easily notice if the price has been marked up or down. Knowing how much the seller paid can help you make room for any negotiation. If they were able to buy it at a much lower price, you can lower your offer but make sure that it is still at a reasonable price. In case they didn’t tell you the price, you can always check the public records where the house is located.

Neighbors

The seller will not say it outright if there is anything wrong about the neighborhood, since this might affect the buyer's decision.

You can survey the area and try to understand your potential neighborhood. Observing is one of the keys to determining whether it's the right home for you or not.

Find out if it has a strong sense of community or there are any problems before going through the purchase. Visiting the local police department can also help you determine if it is a safe environment to live in or not.

Past Problem Conditions

Home sellers must tell you about any current problems with the house though it may vary from state to state. However, home sellers are not legally required to disclose issues if there are any.

You can enquire whether the seller has had to repair any issues with the house and how well the remedy worked, particularly if it is a former issue that has been resolved. 

It also helps to know who completed the work in case a similar issue arises.

keys handed to new home buyer

How Long Have You Lived In The Home?

This is one of the most common questions to ask, but it is similar to asking why they are moving. Find out how long they have lived in the house and try to have them open up or share a memory of them in the house and observe if there are any signs that the house might not serve your needs.

Age Of Components

How the house looks is important and so is asking about the age and condition of the house as this can help you prepare for any impending expenses.

Knowing how updated it is is necessary to repair or replace important components like the water tank, A/C unit, heating system, septic systems, plumbing, electrical systems, and appliances.

Major Repairs or Renovations

It is important to ask if there are any major repairs or renovations made to the house and who did it. You may also ask if it is DIY, with a licensed contractor or professional. Bad renovation, plumbing, or construction can end up wasting more money and exhaust you financially.

What Do You Love About The House?

You don’t always have to dig for dirt. You can ask questions with a personal touch. Try to find out what the seller loves about their home. It can get the seller to talk about their home and the neighborhood. They can also talk about a specific place in the house or a favorite spot. You might learn something positive that you might not have known.

Conclusion

Getting a list of questions to ask before buying a house is important. You want to make sure about its history before anything else. Talking to the seller can help you learn exactly what you could be getting into. 

Besides, having a real estate agent can also give you a handful of information in case you didn’t find the answers you want to know in the seller. Knowing the house will give you peace of mind and save you the hassle.

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