An open house gives you a great opportunity to get a first-hand look at the property you might be interested in buying. It also affords you the chance to chat with the selling agent so you can bring up any questions or hesitations you have with the home. Knowing exactly what to ask in the moment can be a challenge, so here are examples of questions at the next open house you attend:
Why has the seller decided to sell now?
If you ask the REALTOR® why the seller is moving, you could learn valuable information to help determine your bid. Knowing whether the owners are about to go into foreclosure or they’ve retired south and completely paid off the home can help you decide how urgently they need to sell their property.
Have you had any other offers?
The Santa Cruz real estate market is one of the most desirable and competitive markets in the country. When you're visiting an open house, it's imperative that you bare in mind that you are not only negotiating with the seller for a price. There are likely several other potential buyers, all vying for the same beautiful property you're interested in. By asking the simple question of how many other offers there are, you'll be able to get a realistic idea of what you are up against.
Does the property have special ownership costs?
Ask the REALTOR® about the other costs associated with owning the property, such as any HOA or strata fees that typically come with living in a condominium or a gated community. You can also find out what to expect in terms of the annual property taxes. It’s important to know about these extra expenses in advance so you can make an informed offer.
What furniture and appliances are being sold with the house?
Most of the time, a seller will include their major appliances such as the refrigerator, stove and dishwasher with the home, but this isn’t always the case. If you don’t already have these items, it’s important to know whether they are included in the purchase price.
The open house is a great opportunity to learn more about a home before making the decision to buy it, so be sure you ask the right questions. To find out more about attending Santa Cruz real estate open houses, contact me at 831.662.6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com.
For additional real estate information, please visit my home page at www.MySantaCruzRealEstate.com.