5 Essential Questions to Ask at an Open House

Friday Dec 22nd, 2017

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If you are in the throes of house hunting in the Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga area, chances are you have been visiting lots of open houses. To ensure that your open house visits are both effective and a little easier to handle, here are some essential questions that should be asked in order determine if the house you are visiting could be the right house for you. Be sure you are working with a professional real estate agent that can help you get the answers you need.

1. When was the roof, hot water tank, windows, plumbing and electrical last done?

The answers to these questions will give you a good idea of the condition of the home. When you have the details of maintenance and upgrades that have already been or will need to be completed, you can estimate any future or immediate expenses you may have to take on if you buy the property.  This information can also help you determine what your asking price might be.

2. Is there a property disclosure statement?

A property disclosure statement (PDS) provides a history of the property based on the seller’s knowledge. In this document, the seller may have answered questions such as “has there been any history of a leak?” or “has there ever been an insect infestation issue?” to the best of their knowledge. While it is not required for all sellers to complete a property disclosure statement, it is becoming more common practice.

3. Have the sellers already purchased a new home?

Knowing more about the seller’s plans can give you an indication about how motivated they are. When you understand more about where the sellers are at in their own real estate process, you will be better prepared for the negotiation process. For some sellers, price isn’t the biggest factor, dates are. A seller may be willing to accept a lower price for ideal dates that work within their needed time frame. On the other hand, if you have fixed dates that won’t work with the sellers’ dates, then it may be time to move on to other houses.

4. Have there been offers on the home?

This question will yield one of the following answers:

  • The sellers have already accepted an offer pending conditions
  • Offers are being accepted on a specific day
  • Offers have been received and rejected
  • No offers have been received yet

Again, the answer you receive can give you a lot of insight into the sellers and what is motivating their decision to sell the home. 

5. How long has the home been on the market?

When you know how long the house has been for sale, you can prepare yourself for what making an offer might look like. If it’s a new listing, you may encounter a multiple-offer situation. Alternatively, if the property has been on the market for a long time then you may be able to negotiate a significantly lower price. if the house has been on the market for a long time, you should ask your real estate agent to investigate and find out why the house isn’t selling.

Ready To Visit Some Open Houses?

Buying a home is a lot of work. When you decide you are ready to find the right home for your family, working with an experienced real estate agent will make the process much easier. Contact Sue Heddle Homes to find out more about how we work with our clients and help them feel confident about making such a big and important investment.

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