Here are 20 questions any home buyer should ask when considering a home purchase –
1. What year was the house built? If you’re not sure, you can look at your county’s tax rolls or deeds registry, or look at the paperwork you were given when you bought the house.
2. How old is the roof?If it hasn’t been re-roofed since you bought it, you can generally find this information on the closing paperwork from your purchase.
3. How old is the heating and air conditioning system?Again, this information should be available on the closing paperwork you had when you bought the house if you haven’t replaced the system yourself.
4. How long has the property been on the market?If it’s been on the market much longer than similar properties, you may want to couch your answer with a brief explanation: “We listed six months ago, but have not had the chance to really market it until just recently.”
5. What comes with the property (sheds, shelving, appliances, window dressings, etc.)?If they know, it’s easier for them to imagine their things in the house.
6. What school district is the house zoned for?
7. Is the mortgage assumable?If you don’t know, it probably isn’t.
8. What type of wiring system does the house have?If your house still has an older 2-wire system, be prepared for questions on whether you’ve had problems with your computer or other appliances.
9. What are average utility costs?If you don’t save utility stubs, your electric and gas providers should have this information.
10. Has the house had foundation problems? If so, and you’ve had them fixed, you may want to explain what was done and perhaps even show them a receipt from when the project was completed.
11. Are there any easements or deed restrictions?If there are, they’ll want to know if you’ve experienced any problems with third parties over these.
12. How much did you pay for the house?This may be a touchy subject, but be honest. They can find out from public records.
13. How many offers have you had?Again it’s a touchy subject. Rather than saying “two,” you may want to say “more than one” so they won’t think they have all the time in the world to make an offer.
14. Is there insulation in the walls and the attic? They may want to know how long ago it was put in because some types of insulation settle and become less effective.
15. Are there any fees, such as Home Owner Association fees?This is not something a home buyer wants to be surprised with on moving day.
16. How much are property taxes?If you don’t remember, your property assessor’s office will know.
17. Has the property been altered, and did you get the proper permits before altering it? Potential buyers don’t want to be left with an addition that wasn’t made with the proper permits. Having copies of such permits is a good idea.
18. Is it noisy because of the highway / train tracks / retail areas nearby?Again, honesty is the best policy, though you should inform them of special mitigating factors, like train track quiet zones that are sometimes implemented in areas where crossing accident rates are low enough.
19. Are there any development plans for the area such as new roads, shopping, etc.? If you don’t know, you can ask your local planning commission or refer the buyer to them.
20. What is the crime rate like in this neighborhood ?Be honest. Potential buyers may ask the local police department, and some crime data is readily available using online tools.