If you’re thinking about buying a house in the Atlanta area, you might want to get a feel for what’s out there by attending an open house or two. This is when an agent opens the house for several hours, usually on the weekend, so potential buyers can take a look at their leisure. In this article, we will cover 5 Questions to Ask at an Open House.

Once you set forth on the open house circuit, you shouldn’t limit yourself to just perusing the bedrooms, admiring the granite countertops and opening the closet doors. Because the seller’s real estate agent is usually there, though the true expert is the seller themselves, you can ask a host of questions you might not otherwise have the opportunity to ask. Here are five important questions you might want to ask that can help you gain insight into a home you’re considering:

  1. Is there a disclosure statement available?: While the agent and sellers might have done a good job clearing the clutter, strategically placing vases of flowers throughout the house and streaming soft music in the background, what you really want is the real nitty-gritty. If there are any structural problems with the house, they would have to be disclosed later in the process once an offer is accepted. So why not go ahead and get it out of the way up front? You’ll want to know if roof leaks or foundation cracks are part of the big picture.
  2. How long has the house been on the market?: This can give you an idea of how motivated the seller is. If it was just listed the week prior, the seller is more likely to be firm on the price. However, if the house has been sporting a “for sale” sign for months, you might have some wiggle room when it comes to price and some power when it comes to negotiation.
  3. Have there been any price reductions?: Again, a recent lowering of the price could indicate a buyer who is extremely eager to sell. This will usually be even more so if there have been multiple drops in the price.
  4. Why is the house being sold?: This can help you determine if the seller will allow any leeway on price. If the seller has to relocate for a job or the couple is divorcing, there might be more urgency than if it’s simply a family wanting to move up or empty-nesters looking to downsize.
  5. What improvements have the sellers made?: It’s always nice to know if the kitchen has been remodeled, the wood floors have been recently installed, or the roof has been recently replaced. Knowing about any upgrades that have been made can help you assess the value of the home.

A real estate agent can help you determine what other questions you might want to ask at an open house, or when you’re checking out any other house on the market. An agent will also know about any similar houses available for sale.

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