Questions to Ask Before Making An Offer On A House

by | Jan 11, 2021 | Buying A Home | 0 comments

Know the questions to ask before making an offer on a house. Buying a house can involve emotional aspects like seeing yourself waking up in the home combined with being realistic about monthly utility and repair costs. Working with a knowledgeable realtor and knowing the home buying questions to ask the seller can relieve stress about making the right decision.

10 Questions to Ask Before Making An Offer On a House

Avoid home buyer remorse and common mistakes by knowing the 10 questions to ask before making an offer on a house:

1 – Is the Location Right?

As a home buyer, identify an area or several neighborhoods that meet all of your needs and work with your realtor to focus on homes for sale that meet your criteria. Consider specifics like school systems, proximity to shopping, entertainment, employment, medical providers, recreation centers, and outdoor activities.

If you commute to work, will you drive, or is public transportation readily accessible? If you drive to work and live in a climate where it snows, what is the neighborhood’s snow removal plan? If you work from home, who are the Internet providers in the area, and what speeds are available?

Falling in love with a home in the city, a quiet suburb, or a remote area has pluses and minuses based on your lifestyle. Consider all aspects of your next home location to ensure the location is a perfect fit for your personal, work, and recreation needs.

Searching for your next home? Find a home you like on our Home Search Page.

2 – What is the Gap Between the Market Value Versus the Listing Price?

Establishing a budget for buying a home and the monthly expenses is another criterion to make sure that you buy a home that works for you. Homebuyers should meet with a lender before determining a price range that fits your income so that you are aware of the financial questions to ask before making an offer on the house.

Avoid disappointment by finding yourself in a position where you find a home that you love, and you don’t qualify for the mortgage payment. If you don’t know a mortgage lender, ask your realtor to make a recommendation.

Once you have a price range for buying a home and find a home that fits your needs, your realtor can complete a comparative market analysis to confirm a realistic market value for the home. If the house was priced accurately,  the listing price may be near the market value. An expert, real estate negotiator will educate you about a pricing strategy for making an offer on a house.

3 – Is the Home Overpriced?

Questions to ask before making an offer on a house include investigating whether a home is overpriced. An overpriced home may be worth exploring for various reasons if the house has been on the market longer than other homes in the neighborhood.

Buyers may be hesitant to make an offer because of wondering what might be wrong with the house. The seller may be more motivated to negotiate. Ask your realtor to investigate the home to determine if making an offer on a house makes financial sense.

4 – What is the Home Seller Timeline?

Knowing the home seller timeline can be helpful. Some sellers have contingencies built into a real estate listing. An example may be a rent-back for a short time to allow the seller to buy their next home and move.

Homebuyers can also add contingencies into a real estate agreement. An example of a homebuyer contingency is something that depends on something to happen. For example, a typical real estate contingency is a home inspection. A home inspection contingency allows the buyer to have a property inspected and negotiate the purchase price or repairs based on the outcome of the home inspection report.

5 – What Would Make This Home Hard to Sell Later?

making an offer on a house

Next in the list of questions to ask before making an offer on a house—is what would make this home hard to sell later? For example, while you may not mind living on a busy street, traffic noise may not be attractive to a future homebuyer.

Homes in remote areas or out in the country may operate on well or solar-systems. While a well and solar system may be typical to rural dwellers, a city homeowner may be intimidated by not having access to city water or electricity.

Multi-level homes, homes with large yards, a one-car garage, and unusual floor plans that may not be significant to you may make this home hard to sell later. Rather than emotionally falling in love with a house with aspects that would make it hard to sell later, consider the cost to renovate or update the less appealing features.

6 – Is the Layout Right?

Following up on the idea of features that might make a home hard to sell later is the layout of the home. Questions to ask before making an offer on a house specific to the layout include:

  • Do you prefer a single or multi-story home?
  • Is an open floor plan or rooms with walls or partitions your preference?
  • Room sizes—how will your existing furniture fit into the home?
  • If you enjoy entertaining—are the kitchen, dining area, and living room the right size?
  • Are there balconies, stairs without railings, a spiral staircase, or other great features for adults but not for young children?
  • Is the master bedroom facing a quiet area of the yard or a busy street?
  • Are there floor to ceiling windows, skylights, or high ceilings that might affect monthly utility bills?
  • Is an unfinished versus a finished basement okay?
  • Is there an outdoor patio or living area?

7 – Does The House Need Repairs?

Before making an offer on a house, consider whether the house needs repairs or if there are renovations you want to make. Home inspection reports may include recommended repairs and repairs that are nice to have. Home repairs are a negotiable aspect of a real estate contract.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may be more willing to buy a fixer-upper in return for a more affordable home. If you are talented at completing home repairs, all the better. You may be able to find a home that checks off all the boxes of your wish list.

Wondering what items come up in home inspection reports? Get a Copy of Our FREE Printable Home Inspection Report

8 – What is the Age of Major Home Systems?

A major consideration on the list of questions to ask before making an offer on a house is the age of major home systems like heating, air conditioning, water heater, solar, roofing, and major appliances. While many of these systems can be operable and in good condition, replacement is needed over time.

Consider the age and whether you can establish a budget to replace these items in the first five to ten years that you own the home. It is best to have a conservative plan instead of being surprised when a heating system or air conditioning breaks down within the first years of homeownership.

9 – What are the Monthly Living Costs?

Monthly living costs like property taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities, trash removal, lawn care, insect control, Internet, and cable television, among others, are questions to ask before making an offer on a house. Being able to afford a monthly mortgage is only one part of homeownership.

The running monthly costs of owning a home can be higher in some areas than others. Property taxes vary by state. Make sure that you look at the total financial picture of buying and owning a home, including the closing costs. Your realtor can request this information from the current home seller, and you can investigate homeowner insurance rates.

10 – Do I Love The Home (Or Is it Just Okay)?

buying a houseDo I love the home or is it just okay? This may be the most important question to ask before making an offer on a house. Can you imagine living and being happy in the home—or are you focusing on the financial practicalities that make sense—but you are not overly excited about the property?

While being practical about the financial aspects of buying a home is important—if you really don’t love the home—think twice unless you want to see yourself moving again in a short period of time. Buying a home is a major financial investment that has long term consequences. If you’re not excited about making an offer on a house—keep looking.

Thinking of Buying or Selling?

Are you thinking about buying a home in Lakewood, CO? Get expert real estate advice when house hunting for homes for sale in Lakewood CO by working with a buyer’s agent on the Sam Wilson Home Selling Team. Get expert real estate advice when house hunting for homes for sale in Lakewood CO, Jefferson County, and the Denver metro area. Work with a buyer’s agent on the Sam Wilson Home Selling Team. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, we make you a priority and share our expertise to make the home buying or selling process as stress-free as possible.

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