Are you searching for a property that meets your expectations and fits within the budget? If so, you need to know what questions you should ask a house owner during a house tour.
It all seems obvious - making an appointment with the seller and then walking around the house to see if it suits you, and what feeling you get there. However, you mustn’t forget to ask, "why the sellers are selling their house or apartment?" or " when the roof was last renovated? ".
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According to real estate law, the selling party must provide all legal information about the property. For example, the seller must state whether or not a building permit exists and whether the property is in a flood area. If the seller works with a broker, he isn’t only legally required but also obliged to take this and many other matters into account. But real estate law also means that you, as a potential buyer, also must make an investigation and research. So that's why it's very important to ask questions during and after the house tour! But which are the right questions to ask? In this article, we will provide you with some tips on 7 questions to ask during a house tour, and why it is important for you as a potential buyer.
1. How long has the seller been living here?
This question is a crucial one. By asking the seller about how long he has been living in the house, you will know if there is anything shady about the property. Especially if the previous house owner (If there is one) had also left the house very quickly due to some uncomfortable issues related to the building or neighbourhood.
2. Why does the owner sell the property?
Has the seller just got a new job abroad? Is there a fight with the neighbours or are there defects in the house? Does the person in question need money quickly due to an unfavourable financial situation? Answering this question already gives you a remarkable indication and a possible advantage during the negotiations. But be discreet and not assertive in this, because there may be family problems at the root (e.g. death).
3. Has the seller found another home?
This question is an extension of the previous one. You can use this to find out how quickly and for how much the seller wants to sell the property. If the answer is "yes", there is a higher chance that the seller wants to sell the house faster. But if the seller cannot move into his new home that quickly, he is inclined to make a nice overlap between the 2 houses. Asking is knowing!
4. How long has the house been on the market?
This question can give you insight into how popular or unpopular the home is. Is the house for sale for more than six months and have there been 3 price drops in the meantime? Then there is a good chance that the seller agrees to a lower bid.
5. When was the home/kitchen/bathroom last time renewed?
This question can provide you with 2 important insights. Firstly, you immediately know whether the owner is aware of any renovations and whether he/she has carried out them himself. It is also a good way to go deeper into possible works.
6. Where does the sun rise and what time?
It should be a standard question but it’s often forgotten. A garden that is oriented to the south is important for many people because the sun would be present there almost all day long. For a kitchen, it may be a bit more westerly because then you still have sun when you are cooking in the evening. Do you like watching the sun during your breakfast? Then a more eastern orientation is preferred.
7. What about home maintenance?
Most people prefer not to do too much maintenance work when they buy something. Ask the seller which work he/she has already done and which still needs to be done in the short term. This way, you have an idea about what you can expect as a new owner. On the other hand, a lack of maintenance work is an argument to make a lower bid.