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Questions to ask your real estate agent when buying a house

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Working with an agent is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make as a buyer. Here’s what you should ask your agent when buying homes for sale in Pennington, NJ.

What’s the local market like?

Property values are affected by the overall state and quality of the neighborhood. If you’re seeing an unusual number of foreclosed properties, abandoned houses, and for sale signs, you should take it as a red flag. In some cases however, it may not be obvious that the neighborhood is in decline. Ask your agent about the local housing market if you have reason to believe that the neighborhood is losing its desirability and how this may impact your home’s resale value.

Why is the homeowner selling?

Once you’ve found a property that suits your needs, try to find out why the seller is offloading the property. Are they relocating for work, going through a messy divorce, or is the home damaged beyond repair? Knowing the seller’s motivations will help you determine whether the home is a good find.

You can also use the information as leverage during negotiations. If the seller needs to sell and relocate within a set period of time, they may be more open to negotiating the asking price.

How much is this home really worth?

When deciding how much to offer, ask your agent whether or not the property is priced correctly for what it is. An agent can compare similar properties and recently sold homes in the neighborhood to see how much they sold for. This can help you make informed decisions on the offer price and negotiations.

Is the seller willing to negotiate the price of the home?

Ask your agent to gauge how flexible the seller is on their asking price. Making a lowball offer could cause the seller to pull out of negotiations and you could lose your chance at purchasing your dream home. Once you know the seller’s willingness to negotiate, you and your agent can come up with an appropriate strategy.

Are there seller’s disclosures worth noting?

A seller is legally obliged to disclose any known material defects with the home. It’s important to learn about these disclosures to determine the condition of the home and its systems and appliances. This will help you decide how much to offer.

How many times has the home been sold?

If the home has changed ownership multiple times within the last several years, it could indicate that there’s a problem in the property or the neighborhood it’s in. Have your agent look into the number of times that the home has listed and sold within the last 10 years. If the number is unusually high, find out why.

For questions on the home buying process in Pennington, NJ and nearby communities, you can reach David DePaola and Company Real Estate at 609.883.4161 or David(at)DePaola(dotted)com. As a boutique agency with over 40 years of experience, we provide assistance to buyers in search of the perfect home in the area.