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Questions You Need To Ask At An Open House

By Tabitha Naylor

An open house is the perfect opportunity to view a home that you may want to purchase. However, rather than just being a silent observer, be sure that you arrive prepared with questions that will allow you to make a truly educated decision regarding whether or not this is the house that you want to purchase. Some of the best questions that you can ask when you visit an open house are highlighted here.

Question: Why is the Current Owner Selling?

This is a classic variation of the question "How motivated is the owner to sell?" This is a good question since it may give you insight in to the motivation and sense of urgency felt by the seller. While the motivated question will likely be answered with "extremely motivated" since the listing agent will want to do anything to ensure you are interested, the "Why" question will provide you with more insight into why the seller is trying to sell and the urgency behind it.

Question: Any Offers on the Table?

While most people will ask the question of how long the property has been on the market, there are few that will likely ask a good follow up question of whether or not there are any current offers. The majority of buyers completely miss the fact that they are actually negotiating against two different entities, other potential buyers, as well as the seller. You need to gather as much information as possible about both of these groups.

Question: How Long at the Current Price?

This is a question that very few home shoppers think to ask. A home that has been listed at the same price point for an extended period of time means the seller is less likely to settle for a lower number. However, if a home has seen several price drops during its time on the market, it may be a steal that is completely overlooked by other shoppers. Be cautious, though, that price drops could also indicate an issue with the home.

Question: What Are the Comparable Sales?

In most cases the agent showing the house will have an intimate knowledge regarding the recent sales that were completed in the area and how they actually compare to the house that you are looking at. When you ask about these sales it will let you know quite a great deal about the negotiating strategy of the seller. Did they price the home low, high or at a rate that is comparable to other sales?

Question: Other than price, is there any other important selling factor?

While price is first and foremost for any home seller, there are always other factors that may make the difference in offers that are fairly close. This could be factors such as the date of possession or escrow. If you are really interested in the home, this question may give you a leg up on other bidders.

Using these questions you can find out vital information regarding a home that you are interested in purchasing.

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