Visiting open houses on your own? Here are the top 7 initial questions to ask the listing agent. As a professional courtesy, always list your realtor’s name on any sign-in sheet.
Visiting open houses on your own? There are a few things you should know
1. Does the seller have any offers in hand?
Offers often come in prior to an open house. Find out if your offer will be in the running as a primary or back up offer.
2. When is the seller reviewing offers?
Sellers will either review offers as they come in or set a deadline to review offers at one time.
3. What is the seller’s timeline to sell?
Determine if you are able to meet their deadline to sell or if there are any contingencies on the sale. i.e if the seller must first find a replacement property or do a leaseback, etc…If you are looking at a pre-foreclosure or short sale, your agent will have additional questions in regards to possible liens or bank approval process for the sale.
4. What issues has the seller disclosed about the home?
The majority of home sales will include a Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement, which is the seller’s account of what repairs have been made and issues the home may have. This does not replace the need for the buyer to contract a general inspector.
5. Is this homeowner occupied or tenant occupied? If it’s been a rental, how much has the property rented for?
If the home is currently rented or has been previously rented, find out an estimate for potential income from long-term/short-term renters or if there’s a tenant agreement in place.
For Properties with Total Monthly Fees/Association Fees, You Should Also Ask:
6. Are there any upcoming assessments?
Good to know upfront if possible. Can be an indication as to the condominium reserves or your potential additional out-of-pocket expense. This may also give you a clue as to a potential inconvenience due to construction—i.e is the parking structure being resurfaced, the pool upgraded, roofs repaired, etc…
7. Have any increases in the total monthly fees or association fees been announced?
Good to know for financial forecasting. Your realtor will have additional questions, but these are a great starting point to get the ball rolling.
Want to Know More?
Contact me for a complementary copy of the Hawaii Life Buyer’s Handbook. Find out common physical property conditions a buyer should investigate such as condominium docs, condominium reserves, expansive soil, zoning/planning, SRPDS, aircraft noise, and so on.
Find out what you need to know about buying property in Hawaii
Hawaii Life is also currently looking for homebuyers to feature on our 2017 seasons of Hawaii Life on HGTV. Let’s share your story with over 2 million viewers!
We are currently looking for homebuyers to feature on Hawaii Life on HGTV!