Before you make an offer on a house it pays to ask a handful of questions. While the answers might scare you off or make you rethink your bid, they could make you feel more confident that you’re making the right move on the right house. And as a seller or real estate agent you should anticipate and be prepared to answer these questions
But where do you go for all this information? With so many sources out there, who can you trust?
The good news is Housefax has relationships with over a dozen trusted public and private sources to bring you reliable data. Whether you are a real estate agent, homebuyer or seller, Housefax answers 11 must-ask questions immediately, to build confidence and cut the amount of time you waste researching in half.
You have questions. Housefax knows the answers.
1. Have the sellers made any major renovations or additions?
You can wait days to tour the house or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
If the owners have overhauled the kitchen, added a bedroom, or knocked down a wall, you’ll want to know that. And don’t forget to ask for permits, with contractor name, if possible to make sure the work was done properly. Considering renovating before you sell? Here are some tips.
2. Is this basement permitted?
You can stand in line for hours at the county office or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
Gathering building permits often requires a trip to the county permit office. If there is evidence of a finished basement not reported via a building permit, work may have been done without the proper permits and inspections. This could delay a transaction from moving forward. Learn more about how building permits protect you.
3. How much does the seller owe?
You can call the banks or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
If the seller owes more than the asking price, then you are looking at buying a short sale or the seller will need to bring cash to closing. If a seller needs to write a check to close escrow, you will be very unlikely to get the seller to pay your closing costs or offer to pay for any repairs. It’s better for you if the seller has a lot of equity.
4. Has this house been in a fire?
You can pay for a pre-inspection or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
A pre-inspection simply means you have your home inspected before you receive an offer from a buyer. It’s a common trend to help sell a home. The cost (which averages $317) is often covered by the seller (or the listing agent); however we are seeing more buyers pay for one. When it comes to reported fires, fire damage is often difficult to spot. There are signs, like painting an attic to try to cover up damage, but the Housefax Report will provide more details (including the date, cause and outcome).
5. Is this house a former meth lab?
You can wait to get sick or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
In 2014, Housefax Reported 50,000 former meth labs in the U.S. Because chemicals linger in the walls, floors and beyond, a former meth lab is a huge health concern. While death is not common, typical reactions include short-term health problems ranging from migraines and respiratory difficulties to skin irritation and burns. Here are 11 meth lab stats even “Breaking Bad” fans don’t know.
6. How well will my cell phone work?
You can keep asking, “Can you hear me now?” or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
If you work from home and rely heavily on your cell phone and a strong internet connection, this could be a potential deal-breaker.
7. Is this house in a flood zone?
You can wait for it to rain (a lot) or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
Knowing your relative flood risk level can help you assess your risk of financial loss. Once you understand your risks, you can talk with your insurance agent to establish a coverage amount that’s right for you.
8. Is this house near an earthquake fault line?
You can wait for the ground to start shaking or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
Fault lines are cracks in Earth’s crusts where tectonic plates converge. As you’d expect, these areas have an extraordinary propensity for earthquakes. Safety aside, it’s important to know that earthquake damage isn’t covered by a standard homeowners policy, and unlike flood insurance, neither the federal government nor your insurer can require you to carry quake coverage.
9. What schools are near this house?
You can search multiple websites or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
Schools are a huge concern to parents with small children. In fact, in a recent survey by the National Association of REALTORS®, homebuyers cite schools as one of the most important factors in their decision.
10. How noisy is this neighborhood?
You can whip out your decibel meter or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
Air traffic from a nearby airport may be an irritant. Same goes for local noise from nearby restaurants or stores. And, with highways in the distance you might not hear traffic during the day, but as night falls, the clatter and constant hum may get louder.
11. Where is the nearest fire station?
You can drive around the neighborhood or you can ASK HOUSEFAX.
Did you know a property with a fire station more than five miles away may be subject to higher home insurance premiums? The distance of the nearest fire station is important information which is not always easy to come by – unless you Housefax it.
Visit housefax.com today and get your answers questioned. #HousefaxKnows.