How Much Did The Seller Pay For The House Before You Made Your Offer?
Although the initial purchase price may have little to do with the home’s current worth in many instances, it’s always a good idea to inquire.
For example, if the seller purchased the home only about five years ago and the markets haven’t substantially risen or fallen (and the seller didn’t perform any renovations), the price might not be too far off from the original. Finding out this amount can sometimes benefit you in negotiating a better offer.
It’s also worth asking them why they’re selling the house if they just acquired it—if there’s something the seller didn’t like, it’s good getting the inside scoop.
Are There Any Foreclosures On The Market Near The Property You’re Placing An Offer On?
Perhaps you fell in love with the house itself, or perhaps you fell in love with the location. If the latter is the case, you have a great possibility of finding a comparable home at a significantly lower price if there are foreclosures for sale in your preferred area.
It’s usually a good idea to be aware of your surroundings, and if your agent alerts you to some local foreclosures, it’s absolutely worth considering one. Additionally, the number of foreclosures in a certain community creates competition, which may allow you to make a lower offer on the home you want.
What Is The Value Of The Property You’re Making An Offer On?
This should go without saying, but you need to know how much the home you want to buy is worth in today’s market.
Your real estate agent will not tell you an exact value to submit with your offer, but they will give you a good estimate by presenting you with the prices that “comps” (or comparables) in the area recently sold for.
How Long Has The Property Been On The Market?
This is related to the previous question and is equally important to determine. If the house has been on the market for a while, it could be a hint that it is overvalued. It could possibly be a slow market or a location where individuals aren’t looking to buy—in which case, you should consider why.
How Willing Is The Seller To Negotiate The Asking Price?
Although it may appear to be an odd question to ask, the seller’s representative should give you a clear answer: either there is wiggle room or there isn’t.
It is far preferable to gain an inside knowledge of how flexible the seller may be with the asking price rather than simply insulting the seller by offering far below what they believe their home’s value.
Is The Seller Willing To Cover The Closing Costs?
In the same way that you should find out if the seller is willing to make any adjustments with their asking price, you should also find out if they are willing to make any considerations with their asking price. This includes assisting with closing costs or paying for necessary repairs. Knowing this relatively soon can help you budget as the closing date approaches.
Is There A History Of Any Persistent Problems With The House?
Even if the house appears to be picture-perfect, you should take off your rose-colored glasses and recognize that there may be more to it than meets the eye.
Because you’ll be obtaining a home inspection regardless, it’s worth it to ask the seller about any problems they’re aware of so you can double-check them during the inspection.
Even if the house appears to be in good condition, prior damage (such as a fire that created structural problems) may not be completely apparent if it is covered behind walls.
Are There Any Plans For Improvements In The Nearby Area?
It’s usually a good idea to know if the area you fell in love with before purchasing your home will remain the same once you move in.
Is there any proposed plans to expand commercialized areas near the property, which could bring traffic, or just general construction, which could cause noise all day? Perhaps a new school is in the plans, which could increase the value of the home.
What Is The Seller’s Timeline?
Some sellers are rushing through the process because they need to relocate for a new job or are (sadly) going through a divorce. In these instances, they may be inclined to take the first acceptable offer they come across.
This means one of two things: either someone else will beat you to it, or you can go in at a lower price in the hopes that they will take it to hurry the process along.
A seller, on the other hand, may not be ready when you are. They could be waiting for the new house they’re moving into to be completed. Knowing the seller’s chosen settlement date before submitting an offer will assist you in easily planning your following steps.
Have Any Additional Offers Been Made?
This is an important question. If other offers were made on the home you want, you should find out what they were and why they were rejected.
Don’t assume that another person’s offer was rejected solely on the basis of price, making you feel obligated to increase your offer—there could have been other factors that contributed to the rejection (like settlement timing, no pre-approval letter, or a disagreement of terms).