By the time you are planning to make an offer on a home, you probably have a pretty good idea of the home’s history. You probably know which features have recently been upgraded and which parts you might need to replace in the coming years. But there are still a few things you can only learn from talking to the buyer.
Question #1: Why are you selling your home?
While the seller might not be completely honest with you, their answer to this question can still give you valuable information. If the seller is in a hurry to sell the home and move into a different property, there may be more room to negotiate the price. If the seller is not in a rush to sell their home, they will be more likely to wait for a better offer instead of accepting the first decent offer that comes their way.
Question #2: What is included in the sale of the home?
Typically, anything that is considered a “fixture” should be included in the home, but there are some grey areas here. If you are concerned about the light fixtures, wall mounted sound system, or detached shed or workshop, make sure you get it in writing that your favorite feature is included in the home sale.
Question #3: Does the home have any problems – past or present?
Again, you might not get a completely honest answer, but the seller might reveal some useful tips that would not have been uncovered by the home inspection. For example, the seller might be able to tell you that that sticky drawer actually opens if you pull on the corner.
Even if past problems have been fixed, it is still useful for prospective buyers to know about them. For example, if you know that the foundation leaked in the past, you will know that you should keep an eye out for future leaks. If the roof leaked but was later repaired, you should keep an eye out for signs of water damage in the attic.
Question #4: Favorite local shops and restaurants?
While this is not directly related to the sale of the home, the seller can often give you insight into the best locally owned spots in town. For example, there might be 3 or 4 dry cleaners within a few miles of your home. Finding out which one does the best alterations can take trial and error if you do not have a recommendation. If you ask, some sellers will even leave menus for the favorite takeout spots. This can save you from a few disappointing dinners while you explore your options.
Question #5: Do you still have the owner’s manuals?
Your new home might come with exterior lights, a backyard pool, a septic system, or other complicated features. Having the original owners manuals and maintenance records can make your life easier.
To learn more about how you can make your life easier when buying a home, get in touch with Huntley Realty at email us at homes(at)huntleyrealty(dotted)com or call 847.669.4010.