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5 Questions to Ask your Realtor

Last week we discussed my list of top 10 things you will experience when buying your first home. And today, we're digging a bit more into the five things you should make sure to discuss with your realtor during the home buying process.

1. Is the price right? What is the average home price increase annually? What are similar houses in this neighborhood selling for and are the more or less updated? It's important to understand the current value of your home, and what homes with some renovation are sellingfor so you have a baseline of how your home value will increase and what the return on your investment will be.

2. How long has the house been on the market? It's important to understand the supply and demand of your city, county, neighborhood market. This is a good bargaining chip for you; the longer it's been on the market, the more likely the homeowners will be willing to negotiate to get it to sell.

3. What items, if any, should we include as an addendum in our initial offer? You can include things like bids for furniture, decor, curtains, curtain rods, washer/dryer. You can also ask for an allowance to make some renovations like updating floors, counter-tops, painting walls, etc. You can even request that the seller pay for all closing costs (SAY, WHAT?!) and go in on a high offer so it looks like they sell the house at the price they look for, but you take out a smaller mortgage and put less money down upfront. Make sure you write these additional items into your offer and work with your realtor on identifying and pricing out any possible repairs, too.

4. What things should we make sure we have cleaned or repaired before we move in? Think this is silly? Think again. If you're moving into a house with carpet, make sure to write into your final offer that the floors and carpets be steam cleaned and professional cleaner comes through the house so you don't have to it it yourself (no one wants to scrub toilets, baseboards or a fridge with someone else's filth in it, right?)

5. Do you have any concerns? Your realtor has seen the market, so make sure to get his or her expert opinion on the property before you put an offer in; they might have some legitimate ideas or concerns you will want to think about before putting in an offer.

I hope this has been helpful! Next week I'm going to post about the "hidden costs" of home ownership because I hear so often that buying home is "cheaper" and an "investment." BEFORE you buy a home, you need to really know what you are "investing in" for your new asset. Stay tuned loves!



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