An open house is more than an opportunity for you to tour a home you are interested in buying. It is your chance to ask questions of the realtor that will give you a realistic picture about the home. Unfortunately, many buyers ask the wrong questions and do not get the information they need to make a sound decision. To help you in your discussions with the realtor, here are a few questions you can ask.
Why Is the Homeowner Selling Now?
One of the factors that can influence the price of the home is how motivated the seller is. A seller who is very motivated to sell the home, is more likely to be open to negotiating on the price. The seller's realtor is interested in getting the best offer for his or her client, so he or she might not be willing to divulge how motivated the seller is if you ask outright.
Asking about the seller's reason for selling now is a way to judge his or her motivation without actually using the words that would lead to a cryptic response from the realtor. The response you receive will likely be more detailed and you can better judge whether or not you can offer below the listing price as a starting point in the negotiations.
When Was the Home Placed on the Market?
Another factor that can be used to judge the motivation of the seller and his or her willingness to negotiate is the length of time the home has been on the market. If the home has been on the market for more than a few months, the seller could be more open to accepting a bid that is lower than the listing price.
If the home has been listed for a few months, ask the realtor if there have been offers on the home. If there has been, find out why the offers were not accepted or why the purchase did not complete. Offers that fail through due to issues, such as a failed home inspection, can be a sign that there are problems that need to be addressed before you consider making an offer.
Your real estate agent can help you determine other questions that you need to ask of the realtor during an open house. Remember, the more you know about the home and the seller's motivation for moving, the likelier it is that you will get a good deal.