While searching for a new home or investment property, you should treat each open house as an opportunity to find out details about the home that are not necessarily advertised online. While the agent or owner might not come right out and say that they think the house is haunted, you can learn more about the property and make informed decisions.
Asking the right questions can lead to answers about the neighborhood and potentially even the next-door neighbors. You can find out how quickly you need to act or whether there is room for negotiating. It is also important to have trustworthy representation that will ask the questions you might not think to ask. Keep these questions in mind when you attend your next open house and walk away or make an offer with complete confidence.
Why is the home for sale?
Learning that the current owners have outgrown the space could be beneficial information in knowing your family's needs. Or perhaps you find out that the seller is trying to move quickly, and they might be more inclined to take a cash offer. While the agent might not admit to any problems with the home or neighborhood, you should still ask the question and see what they are willing to share with you.
The sellers might have disliked the kitchen, whereas you rarely cook and would not appreciate a larger kitchen taking up space. The house might be perfect, but too big for older empty nesters. Legally, the sellers have to disclose structural problems with the home, so this question is to find out why the sellers are moving and if you would move for the same reason.
Have there been any offers?
If you enter an open house and the real estate agent is not all over you, then perhaps they are already fielding multiple offers. In this case, you will want to give yourself the tour and quickly decide whether or not you want to put in an offer. And the best real estate agents will continue to greet everyone who enters while continuing to report offers to the seller to ensure they seek out the highest bid. Maybe you find out that the seller doesn't like to negotiate or a previous deal fell through, and they are now impatient to move. Perhaps the last offer was much higher than the asking price, and it would benefit you to move on with your day. This question is vital to know how quickly you should act and how eager the seller is.
When was the property put on the market?
Knowing how long the property has been on the market can indicate whether there is something wrong with the home or perhaps with the pricing. In today's market, inventory can hardly keep up with the demand for homes, and if a home has been sitting for a while, then the property might have some red flags. If the property is priced too high, this is usually not the work of the real estate agent, but more often, a homeowner who has grown attached to their home or someone who has invested a lot of time and money into their property.
While the dedication may have turned into a handsome return on investment for the seller, you can do research to see if you are being gouged. Or perhaps the property has been sitting because of structural damage that you may or may not be up for renovating. The new construction in Siesta Key probably won't have structural damage, but you can negotiate with the builder of a new home if they are being unrealistic.
How is the neighborhood?
The agent at the open house might specialize in selling homes in that area and know everything there is to know about the schools, parks, and conveniences. The agent may have also heard complaints and grievances from the sellers and might be willing to share that information with you.
If the owners thought there were too many kids running through the neighborhood, then maybe a family with several kids would enjoy living in a neighborhood with other families. The sellers might have complained that the neighbors were standoffish and kept to themselves, and that sounds like music to your antisocial ears. You can read online about a neighborhood, but a first-hand account from the area can help you decide if you want to live there.
What is nearby?
You will have to decide what is important to you, but many families appreciate a well-kept park within walking distance or a grocery store less than five minutes away. The agent might know the area themselves or have heard rave reviews from the seller about a specific amenity. Either way, you should find out if there are selling points not specifically related to the property.
You can find out online whether your favorite gym has a location nearby, but the agent might know about a beach access point you can easily bike to or a hole-in-the-wall diner that locals love. While Anna Maria Island real estate already has the benefit of beaches nearby, you might find out about areas to avoid with strong currents or the best time and spot for dolphin watching.
Who is my representation?
As you tour homes and decide between the Anna Maria Island beach homes and the condos for sale in Longboat Key, you should also consider who represents you. Buying property is a considerable investment, and your real estate agent should guide you through the process and answer your questions as they arise.
Having an agent means you are taken to see the homes you like, and when you stumble upon the open house for your dream home, you can contact your agent to act quickly. Having reliable representation is a relief when buying property, and you should only work with the best in the business. Alexis Smith-Frady and her team will work tirelessly to get you into the perfect home for you and your family. Contact Luxury Coastal Living to get started.