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Five questions to ask your real estate agent when buying your first home

Talking with a real estate agent

When you’re in the market for your first home, your real estate agent will serve as a trusted resource throughout the house hunt. If you ask your agent the right questions, you’ll have a better shot at finding a house that’s an ideal fit for you and your family.

Here are five important questions to ask your real estate agent before buying your first home:

How long has the previous owner lived there, and why are they selling the house?

Knowing what the motivations are behind the homeowner’s decision to sell will help you determine whether or not the home is the right fit for you. For example, if the seller accepted a new job in another location and needs to move there as soon as possible, then he or she might be more willing to negotiate on the price.

The length of time the seller has lived in the home is an important piece of information as well. Are they relocating due to problems in the neighborhood, or are they simply looking for a change of scenery?

Is the home worth the price?

Exactly how much you should offer on a home is entirely your decision and not your agent’s. However, your agent can show you comparable homes in similar neighborhoods and give you info on how much they’ve sold for. By getting information on similar properties, you will be able to make a more educated offer on a particular home.

Is there leeway on the seller’s asking price?

Making a lowball offer on a home can potentially offend the seller, crossing your name out of their shortlist of prospective buyers. Find out from your agent if the seller is willing to negotiate on the home’s price before you even make an offer.

What is the property’s selling history?

Has the property been on and off the market several times during the last ten years? If so, this could be an indication of an underlying problem within the house that previous owners may have discovered. It could be an issue with the home itself, a subpar location, or problems in the neighborhood. Ask your agent how often the home has sold. If it seems like a high number, find out why.

How much are the utility bills and property tax?

It’s a smart idea to plan a budget beforehand to find out whether or not you can afford the home itself. Getting prequalified for a loan from your bank will tell you what your monthly mortgage payment will be, but you also need to know about some of the additional costs involved, such as the utility bills and property tax. Getting a full picture of how much you will need to spend will be able to tell you if you can afford the home on your approved mortgage.

Buying a home in Sayreville, Old Bridge, East Brunswick, or other nearby communities? Get in touch with us at Formula Realty at(732) 858-8822, or send an email to mybrokermax(at)gmail(dotted)com.