7 Questions to Ask a Realtor When Buying a First Home

Buying a First Home

Did you know there were over two million first-time homebuyers in 2019?

Are you hoping to join their ranks soon? If so, you’ll need a list of questions to ask a realtor when buying a first home. After all, the home buying process is a long and complex one, so you’ll want an expert to guide you.

Happy home buyers know the right questions to ask, so let’s make sure you fall into that category. Keep reading for the best real estate buyer tips, questions, and answers.

Questions to Ask a Realtor When Buying a First Home

From choosing the best realtor to signing off on your Buying a First Home, here’s a comprehensive list of questions to ask.

How Long Have You Been a Realtor?

There’s no rule that says a new agent can’t be a good one. Still, since you’re new to the game, it’s best to find a real estate agent who’s been in the business for a while.

Look for a realtor with long-term knowledge of the local housing market and neighborhoods. Find out how many current customers they have — too many means they might not have enough time for you, but too few could also be a red flag.

It’s also wise to ask to see their license and verify their credentials before you decide to hire them.

Can You Explain the Home Buying Process to Me?

You’re likely to have a million questions about how the process works, and your realtor should be able to explain them clearly and confidently.

Start by making a list of things you’re curious about, such as:

  • How do showings work?
  • How do I make an offer?
  • What happens during a home inspection?
  • What if the seller accepts my offer?
  • What if the seller rejects my offer?
  • How does the closing process work?
  • How long does each phase usually take?

Take notes and ask for clarifications if there’s anything you’re unsure of. Make sure you know the best times and ways to contact your realtor (or their team) if you have any new questions.

Can You Show Me the CMA?

Once you’ve found a house you’re interested in buying, your first step should be to look at the home’s CMA (comparative market analysis). This is a standard report that compares 10-12 other homes in the area.

Why should you do this? You want to make sure that the home you’re considering is reasonably priced for the local market. 

Do You See Any Potential Red Flags?

An experienced realtor will notice things you might overlook as a first time home buyer. The home inspection will look for any hidden concerns, but some red flags will be obvious before you get to that step.

For example, are there any potential hazards on or near the property? Is it located next to a large factory or near a major fault line? Does the home have a history of water damage, pests, or crime? 

These are some of the most important real estate disclosures you need to know about.

What’s the Neighborhood Like?

For most home buyers, proximity to their job and good schools (if they have kids) are major concerns. Still, your dream home can quickly prove to be a nightmare if it’s in the wrong neighborhood.

Find out what’s happening in the neighborhood as a whole. Are more people moving in, or moving out? What are the crime rates like? Are there plans for new development nearby, like shopping malls or grocery stores?

You’ll also want to know how close the home is to major highways, parks, entertainment venues, and other factors. 

Bonus tip: If you’re new to the area, ask about the likelihood of natural disasters. Is the neighborhood at high risk of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes? It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but you’ll want to make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover all scenarios.

How Old Are the Appliances and Roof?

Even if some parts of the house were recently remodeled, some items may be approaching their expiration date. A nice advantage of renting is that your landlord takes care of repairs and replacements, but as a homeowner, you’ll need to budget for those costs yourself.

For example, how old is the current roof? Most roofs only last 20-30 years, so if the roof is approaching that age, keep in mind you may need to replace it in the near future.

You’ll want to ask the same questions about the HVAC system, water heater, and kitchen appliances. Just because they’re old doesn’t mean it’s a no-go, but it might give you some wiggle room on the buying price.

Would You Buy This House?

Sometimes the most obvious question is the easiest to overlook. Personal tastes and circumstances aside, ask your realtor if they would personally consider buying the house.

Do they seem as enthusiastic about the property as you are? Or do they seem somewhat reticent? If so, ask why.

Is there something about the neighborhood or the area that you should know? Did the home inspection report reveal some major flaws that could be costly to fix? Does the seller seem less than honest about the condition of the property or their reasons for selling?

You don’t necessarily need to agree with your realtor’s viewpoint. But if do they raise some valid concerns about the home, it’s good to take their expertise into consideration. 

Use These Real Estate Tips for Buyers Today

Buying your first home is an exciting journey, but it’s also a complicated one.

Start by asking questions to choose the right realtor. When you narrow in on a home, ask as many questions as possible from the list above to ensure you’re not overlooking anything important.

If one or more of the questions isn’t what you want to hear, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of great houses out there, so keep searching until you find one that ticks all the boxes.

Now that you know the essential questions to ask a realtor when Buying a First Home, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for more informative reads like this one!

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