Buying a house is a big decision. You're making a commitment to buying the property for at least the next few years, and it's not always easy to know if you'll be happy with your choice. You're taking on a lot of responsibility, and you want to make sure it's the right decision for you. The very first thing you should do is find yourself a real estate agent you can trust. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or shopping for your fourth home, there are several questions you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your real estate agent. It's important to have an idea of what questions you want answered before you sit down with your agent. We've put together a list of 10 questions you should ask your real estate agent when viewing a house.

How long has the property been on the market?

How long a property has been on the market can tell you a lot about its history. If there have been multiple offers and then none accepted, that could indicate an issue with price or location. If there have been very few offers over several months, it may be because of poor condition or location. If a property has been on the market for a while, then it might not be as desirable or in as good condition as you think. 

Why is the owner selling?

Asking why a home is being sold is a good way to get a sense of the seller's motivation, which can help you determine if this is the right home for you. For example, maybe they're relocating for work and are hoping for a quick sale. This could work to your advantage in negotiating the price. Or maybe they're downsizing and don't need as much space anymore. In this case, the price maybe firmer as they have some time to wait before moving on. Your real estate agent can help you understand why the owner is selling, so that you can know if it fits your needs and wants before you put in an offer!

Has the property repeatedly changed hands?

It's important to ask your real estate agent if the property has repeatedly changed hands because it can tell you a lot about the home's history and maintenance. When a house has had multiple owners within a short period of time, it can indicate that the previous owner(s) were either unable or unwilling to take care of the property. If that's the case, there could be issues with things like electrical problems or water damage that you wouldn't be able to see right away. If a property has been owned by one person or family for decades, on the other hand, it may have been well-maintained and cared for over time—which means it might be a better investment for you than one with a more complicated history.

Have the sellers had any offers?

It's important to know whether or not there are other offers on the table because it will affect your offer price, as well as the negotiation process. If the sellers haven't had any offers yet, this is a great time for you to submit an offer—you'll be first in line! If there have been several offers already and interest in the home is high, then it might be wise to make an offer at or above asking price. Your real estate agent will help guide you through the process of making an offer that's both fair and competitive with what other buyers are offering.

What local plans could affect the property?

One of the best ways to protect your investment is to understand how local plans could impact the value of the home you want to buy. You should ask your real estate agent if there are any plans in place that could change or limit access to the property and how they will impact the home's future value. You don't want to buy a property and then find out that there are plans to put a power plant or a highway right next door. If you know about these plans before you buy, you can get out of the deal or negotiate with your agent for a lower price.

What is included in the sale?

When you're buying a house, it's important to know what's included in the sale. It's important to ask yourself: What exactly am I getting with this house? And how much of it is included in the purchase price? That's why it's so helpful to have an experienced real estate agent on your side. Your agent will be able to help you understand exactly what's included in the sale and make sure that both parties are on the same page about what will happen when the deal goes through. Your agent can also help you negotiate with the seller to ensure that everything is clearly spelled out from the beginning.

How much are the taxes and other utility bills?

While many people think that they can figure out how much their monthly payment will be on their own (or with the help of a mortgage calculator), there is actually much more to think about than just the price of the house and its interest rate. How much are the taxes and utilities? It's important to know how much the taxes and utilities are when you're looking at a home, not just because it'll help you decide if you want to buy or not, but also because they can be a deal-breaker. If they're too high, it might not be worth it for you to buy the house—and that's okay!

Can you move the furniture and have a peek under the rugs?

It's a good idea to ask your real estate agent if you can move the furniture and take a peek under the rugs. It might seem like a small thing, but it could help you catch some major issues that could make or break the sale of your house. For example, if there is visible mold or mildew on the flooring, that could indicate that there's a leak somewhere in the ceiling of your house. That would definitely be worth investigating further before making an offer on the property. Buying a home is stressful enough without worrying about hidden problems lurking under floorboards or behind walls. So don't hesitate to ask your real estate agent if you can have a closer look at things.

Has there been a recent home inspection done?

If you're considering buying a new home but aren't sure whether or not there has been a recent inspection done on it, ask your real estate agent if they know anything about this issue before moving forward with any kind of purchase agreement. A home inspection is an essential part of the buying process, and it can help you make sure that your new property is in good shape. A qualified inspector will take an in-depth look at your potential property, checking for things like roof leaks or water damage, electrical issues, and plumbing problems. If there are any underlying issues with your house that haven't yet caused problems but may cause them in the future, they'll be brought to light during this process—and it could save you a lot of money in repairs down the line. So, if one hasn’t been done, make sure to have one done yourself before moving forward with the purchase. You’ll be happy you did!

How close are the schools and other amenities?

Did you know that one of the first things you should ask your real estate agent is how close the schools are and other amenities to the home you're looking at buying? It's important to find out how close these things are because it can affect the value of your home. If there's a school nearby, for example, this means more families will want to buy homes in your area. And if there are several other amenities nearby, such as parks and shopping centers, this also means more families might want to live in your neighborhood. This means that your home will be more valuable and more desirable to potential buyers than one that doesn't have these things nearby. So, if you're thinking about buying a new home, make sure you ask about all nearby amenities, so you know what kind of value your property has!
So, there you have it! Asking your real estate agent all or some of these questions can save you time, money, and possible heartache in the future, before you sign on the dotted line. We hope this guide has been helpful to you and has given you some things to think about and consider as you search for your next home. If you have any questions or require more information on Niagara’s housing market, please contact us with all your real estate needs, we’re happy to help!

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