House hunting is both an exciting and daunting task. Many home buyers are so excited with their final choice for a house that they immediately make an offer and fail to read and understand the full disclosure agreement. This is a mistake that can lead to more problems down the line. Be sure to always get as much information as possible so you can make the best decision when purchasing.
There are many trustworthy and useful sources of information available to you when you’re purchasing or closing on a home. The disclosure agreement, property listing sites, home inspector, realtor agent, new neighbors, and the seller are all fine examples of such sources. Do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have. A home is a big investment and it is imperative that you remain informed and comfortable throughout the whole process.
What to ask?
Below are a few suggestions of important questions for you to consider asking your seller or other professional. Many of these questions may be answered by the realtor, but make sure to have your questions answered by more than one party. You can also use documents like the disclosure agreement to answer common questions or to check the answers that these people may give you.
Maintenance Related Questions:
- Have you had any trouble getting home repairs in the past?
- When was the septic system last pumped?
- If the new house has a pool: When was the pool filter last changed? Are there any specific recommendations for pool maintenance?
- Where are the water shut-off valve, sump pump, circuit box, gas and electricity meters located?
- What is the trash and recycling collection schedule in this area?
- Do you have any instruction books for the home’s utilities?
- If it often rains in the area: Have you ever had problems with leaking?
- Do you have any warranty information or owner’s manuals for any utilities or devices in the house?
- Is there anything that you would like to leave in the house (furniture, appliances, paints, tools etc.)?
- Can you provide me with the contact information of any handymen or contractors that you prefer?
- What surprised you the most when you moved in?
- What is your favorite thing to do in the neighborhood? Any favorite restaurants?
- What is your opinion about the public schools here?