Unusual Tips for Home Buyers

Orion’s brokers are involved in many real estate transactions, and hear all kinds of stories about them. And they are often asked what questions buyers should ask sellers, so we thought we’d mention a few here. After all, buyers will receive plenty of information from the seller’s disclosure agreement, the home inspector, and maybe even their new neighbors. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few questions they should ask the seller at the walkthrough or before closing.

One is, “Have you had any past problems with the home that you’ve repaired?” Sellers typically must disclose existing problems or issues related to the home, but they aren’t always required to disclose past problems that have been repaired. Use the disclosure as a starting point to pry for anything more, such as by saying, "I’ve read the disclosure statement. Is there anything else that has happened or that you’ve done that would be helpful to know?”

Another is, “Can you tell me where the water shutoff valve, sump pump, circuit box, and more are located?” Ask the seller to show you the location of these important valves and switches. Hopefully, the home inspector will locate these things and point them out to the new buyer as part of educating them about their new house but not all inspectors do that, so these are important safety questions.

And finally, “Is there anything you wanted to leave behind?” Most things that are being left, such as appliances, are dealt with in the original contract but, as it gets closer to closing, sellers are often wanting to unload some other things, too. You might get lucky and wind up with something great. It might be worth at least a question.

In areas where Orion is licensed and operates, we are continuing to see properties being purchased and financing extended. Yes, inventory is low in many areas, but things continue to be motoring along, and we have many programs to help buyers. Ask your AE!

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