Open House Questions

Open houses a like seeing the shell of a house, and you never really know what you like until you investigate further. Sure, the beautiful staging, the lovely smell could draw you in, but remember it’s all set up to catch your eye. One needs to see a house based on what it truly is, and the best way to do that is ask pointed questions about each room. This will leave you with a good idea of whether you should submit an offer or not.

The kitchen

It isn’t difficult to tell if the kitchen was recently renovated. Just one look around and you can tell what decade the kitchen has last seen any attention, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask anyway. Go ahead and ask how old all the appliances are and if they are still functioning.  

The living room

The most important thing about the living room is the floor. Everything else in this room will be your furniture and decorations. If it is carpet ask what is underneath. What you’re looking for here is subfloor issues, and nobody wants to deal with that pain. If it is hardwood, you’re probably golden.

Bedrooms

No master bedroom is alike, so make sure the furniture you have will fit.  The secondary bedrooms are also a furniture concern, so take that into consideration as well. Ask if they wouldn’t mind if you measured the bedrooms and this should alleviate those concerns.

Bathrooms

Take more than a quick look around the bathrooms, as these rooms have potential to create a ton of problems. Ask away about knocking pipes, leaks, dripping sinks, low water pressure, not enough hot water etc. As a buyer don’t shy away from trying out the faucets.

The roof

The roof is one of the most expensive parts of a home, so get some info about it.  You’ll want to know how old the roof is, and what kind. Depending on the type of roof, it may last up to 50 years; those roofs are typically tile and slate. Asphalt shingles might last 20 years.

The addition

Sellers are always proud of the add-on rooms they build, especially if they believe this room will add significant value. The only consideration regarding this room is if they did it legally. Ask if they took out the proper permits and followed the rules when adding this room. If they have, submit your offer, if not, you may want to pass.

The yard

Here you will want to know where the property lines begin and end, so you know exactly how much land you might buy. If there is a children’s play set, or a storage shed, ask if they come with the home, or if they plan on taking it with them. Ask if the homeowner’s association allows fencing or pools. IF this home has a hot tub, ask what condition it is in and if it has had any problems in the past.

General housing questions

After a thorough inspection throughout the house take note of which rooms hold items that could be expensive to replace, like appliances, floors, heating, electrical, etc. Know which items are covered under the home warranty, and when the last time they were serviced. It would be advised to ask the seller for the last two years of maintenance records and utility costs.

If you feel you might have missed something, you should always ask, “Is there anything else I should know about the house?”

This way the agent can do the talking and you will get the useful info.

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