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What questions should I ask before making an offer to buy a home?

When evaluating a potential new home that you're interested in purchasing, not all of the information you need will be available in the documentation the home seller provides you. This means you'll have to do some digging with pointed questions that reveal what you need to know about the property.

For example, asking the following questions to the home seller will be very important for the purposes of evaluating the home you want to buy and making an offer

  • What did the home seller originally pay for the home? This information will give you an idea of how much property values have increased or decreased in the area where you're planning to purchase your residence.
  • How much does the home seller still have to pay on the home? When the amount owed on the home by the seller is higher than the asking sales price, the home is usually being offered as a short sale. Otherwise, the seller will need to be able to pay the remaining amount of money owed on the home at the closing.
  • How long has the home been up for sale? If the home has been on the market for over 60 days, you'll probably have a better chance of negotiating the price.

Armed with this information, you can evaluate the home seller's price, decide if you're comfortable with the price and if it's comparable to other houses currently on the market in the area, and then make an offer that you're comfortable with. This could then trigger a series of negotiations. The process of negotiating a home purchase is not always easy or straightforward, but the more experience you've had with real estate purchase negotiations, the better you'll do.

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