You have found a home on Funda or Jumba that you are pretty enthusiastic about. Time for a viewing! The moment to check what kind of meat you have in the (bath) tub. You do not only do this by looking around the house, but also by asking critical questions to the seller. Everything you learn now can come in handy later in the negotiations. You can not visit a house without any preparation.
View house as a pro
Good. It is therefore important to not only open all kitchen cabinets during the viewing, but also to ask good questions to the seller or selling broker. What do you all have to think about? Are you going to visit a house soon, then you have to ask these 10 questions anyway.
1. “How long is the house already for sale?”
How long the house is for sale is important to ask. This gives you insight into how popular the house is. Has the house been on sale for more than six months? Then chances are that the sellers agree with a lower bid. After all, they have been waiting for a buyer for quite some time. The longer the house is for sale, the lower you can possibly use your opening bid.
2. “Has the seller already found another home?”
If the answer to this question is “Yes”, then you can count on the seller wanting to sell as quickly as possible. It depends only on how quickly the seller can enter his or her new home. So be sure to ask about this. If you know if and how fast the seller can in the next home, you have an immediate indication when you can involve the house yourself. Important to know, of course.
3. “How long has the seller lived in the house?”
Imagine that the sellers already move after a very short time. Then you will probably get the feeling that there is a snag in the grass. That is why it is always useful to ask this question. Be sure to check whether previous sellers have moved all of the time quickly. That can indicate problems that you are not waiting for, for example in the neighborhood. You better get to know that right away.
4. “Why is the house sold?”
Try to always find the reason why the property is sold to the seller or the selling agent. Is the seller divorced or does he or she have a job on the other side of the country? That is, of course, something else than that there are problems with the neighbors or that there are faults in the home. In addition, you can get information about how quickly the seller wants the house to move out of the reason for moving house.
5. “Are there many other interested people?”
If you are a fan of the house and are considering making a bid, it is wise to know if you have competition. Ask not only how many people have already come to watch, but also whether an offer has already been made. The selling agent can not tell you anything about the amount of other bids, but about how many people have made an offer.
6. “What is it like to live in this neighborhood?”
Ask the seller or selling broker how the neighborhood actually is to live in. Is it recommended or does the seller think there are negatives? Note, what is less pleasant for him or her may be just a relief for you. Always ask for the reason behind an opinion.
7. “What about the costs of maintaining the home?”
Probably you prefer to buy a house where you do not have too much maintenance. That is why it is useful to ask how much the maintenance the dealer has cost. What has the seller already done? Maybe the window frames have just been painted and some tiles have been replaced. That saves you work and money again. Are there any things that need to be replaced? The seller obviously knows that as the best.
8. “What is the cause of any defects?”
Make sure you get a good impression of the condition of the building during the tour. Are there damp spots or cracks on the walls? Do the doors and windows open and close properly? And what does the crawl space look like? If you notice something about the house, ask questions directly to the seller.
Ask how it is that, for example, damp spots are visible and what the seller has already done to prevent or improve this. You obviously do not want to be left with hidden flaws because you have not asked yourself well.
9. “How much money have you spent on monthly payments for gas and light, for example?”
It is not strange to ask about what gas and light costs monthly. This way you get a pretty good indication of what you would eventually have to pay to the house. Request the energy label during the viewing. With our monthly cost calculator you can also quickly get a good estimate of what the house will cost you monthly on mortgage costs, energy costs, taxes and levies.
10. “Are there any items that I can take over?”
In principle you buy a house without movable property, so for example without floor. But perhaps the seller wants to leave certain things at home. Or, who knows, you did drop your eye on something. If you want to take over movable property from the seller, you have to make good agreements about it.
Questions to you
A real estate agent will also ask you about where you live now and whether you are still visiting other houses. Always think carefully about what you give away to info yourself. It certainly does not hurt to say that you have another property in mind. Do not be too excited when viewing this house, even if you are. That is not so favorable for your negotiating position. Play it cool!