6 Important Questions to Ask a Realtor When Shopping for a Home

When shopping for a home, it’s common to have plenty of questions and worries about the properties you visit. Not only should you try to buy a home that suits your needs, but you should also attempt to find something that will last and offer perks that you want.

Many are nervous to ask questions, but it’s the best way to learn anything about your property. These are the top things to ask your realtor when you’re shopping for a home!

1. What Shops or Amenities are Nearby?

This question will affect your daily life, so it’s a good thing to ask it pretty early on when looking at a property. Find out if there are any shops or restaurants within walking distance, any access to amenities like pools, parks, or other areas that you could find useful, or any specific businesses you’re looking for.

Your realtor will work with you to ensure the properties they show you have most of the options you ask for or deliver solutions in case they can’t fit everything.

2. What Work Does the Home Need?

When you purchase a property, you’re putting a lot of money down. Unfortunately, perfect homes are rare, so nearly every property will have a project or two that needs work. Ask your realtor if anything needs to be fixed or what the general garage door replacement costs are if it needs to be replaced.

Although you shouldn’t allow a garage door to be the only thing standing between you and your dream home, this number will help you budget for the future so that you can afford your monthly bills.

Be honest with yourself if the projects are more than you can handle. Unfortunately, some home upgrades and repairs are incredibly expensive or time and work consuming, and not everyone can afford to take those on. It’s a better idea to move on to another property than to bite off more than you can chew.

3. How Old Is The Roof or Siding?

Asking the roof’s age or siding is an awesome way to ensure that you’re set for a few years. These items should last anywhere from ten to thirty years, so if their replacement dates are coming up in the next five years, that’s something you need to know so that you can handle it as soon as possible.

The good thing about them aging out soon is that if you’re not huge on their style or you want something different for your home, this creates the chance to give your home a fresh face in the near future.

4. What Type of Flooring Does It Have?

Most people have a strong opinion on what type of floors they want in their home. Carpet may be soft and comfortable, but faux hardwood floor looks new for far longer and offers stain and scratch resistance.

A common thing to consider is how long this flooring will last if it’s in a style you like, how much it would cost to replace it if you wanted to, and if you can live with it until then. Although flooring may not seem like a big deal to some, it’s the part of your home you’re in physical contact with the most.

5. Is There Any History of Flooding or Damage?

Some states require sellers to disclose this information, while others don’t. Ask your realtor if they know of any history of flooding, fire, or natural disaster in the area that could have damaged the property. Although the foundation type of the home will tell you whether or not it could handle another hurricane or earthquake, it’s a good idea to know if a nearby river or lake has flooded the property before. 

Getting to know the property and understanding its biggest risk can protect you from future disasters.

6. Is There Anything I Can Ask the Seller To Cover?

Some problems, or upgrades, can be put on the seller so that you don’t have to deal with them. Sometimes it’s taken out of the cost, like if you need different electric heating options, or other times, the seller will have to repair or update portions of the home before the closing date so that it’s safe and comfortable to live in.

Talk to your realtor about your options, and decide what would be the best choice for you. Of course, the seller may say no and turn down your offer, but that means you can always move on to the next awesome property.

You Don’t Have to Go Through Buying Your Home Alone.

Buying a house is a lot to take on! Whether this is the first property you’ve ever purchased or you’re fifth, it’s okay to ask for help from a professional. Ask whatever questions come to mind, look for assurance when needed, and buy the home that fits you the best.

Andrea Erickson is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. She is a blogger and content writer for the real estate industry. Andrea is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.