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Questions to Ask a Home Seller Before Making an Offer

The top real estate agents in Atlanta can help you find the perfect home but even before they do, they need to know what your definition of the perfect home is. Your answer may depend on asking the right questions to sellers of homes you fancy. Their answers can help you and your real estate agent to zero in on the best kind of home for you at the best possible price.

Below are some of the most useful questions you can ask.

Why do you want to sell your home?

There are several reasons why people list their Atlanta homes for sale. These include the desire to move into a smaller or bigger house, job relocation, retirement, or life events like marriage or divorce. The home seller’s answer to this question is a good indicator of how far you can go when it comes to negotiations.

Home sellers may imply that they are willing to receive a lower offer. This is especially true if they want to move out of the home as soon as possible. In this case, you can bargain thoroughly. However, there might be a little or no room for negotiating in case the home seller isn’t in a hurry to sell the home.

How long has the house been on the market?

There are many reasons why a home stays too long on the market. Most of these involve attaching a high price tag on the property. This poor pricing strategy gives a general impression among buyers that there may be something wrong with it. Otherwise, someone would have bought it by now.

Home sellers will probably be getting restless from having their home listed for sale for an extended period of time. In that case, they might be more willing to negotiate so they can finally sell the property.

For how much was the property bought?

The seller’s answer to this will show you by how much the property’s value in the market has increased or decreased since the time bought. This will also give you an idea of how much room you have for negotiations.

You don’t have to worry in case the seller is not willing to disclose how much they paid for the property. This information can be found in public records.

Does this property have any previous problems?

While disclosure rules may differ from state to state, it is a must for home sellers to disclose any current or past issue/s with the home. Why should you know about the home’s issues? Because this would allow you to foresee more complex issues, adding to your bargaining power on the negotiation table.

For instance, the seller might have previously fixed their leaking roof. But then, what did they do about the water that found its way into the attic?

Apart from finding out major repairs done to the house, you should also know who did the repairs. In case you experience similar issues when you move into the home, you’ll know who to call.

How old are the components in the home?

Knowing the condition and age of the major components of the home can help you in estimating expenses you might face when you buy the home. Most important of these components is the roof because it protects all other parts of the home.

New roofs have a lifetime of 15 to 50 years, depending on the roofing material used. So if the roof is already 10 years old, it may need replacement soon. Other components like the water heater, electrical systems, HVAC systems, plumbing, and septic system may also need your attention.

What did you like the most about this home?

In asking this question to the seller, you may be able to gain unique insights into the home, community, and neighborhood. Moreover, it will let you know how much the seller enjoyed living in that home.

Learn more about the most effective ways to gain leverage at the negotiation table with us. I am Natalie Gregory and my team can help you through your real estate transaction to get the best results. Get in touch with us at 404.550.5113 or email me at Natalie(dotted)Gregory(at)Compass(dotted)com.

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