Massachusetts Open House Questions Buyers Should Ask
Author Bill Gassett owns Maximum Real Estate Exposure.
Anyone in the real estate industry long enough knows that open houses are not necessary to sell a home. For Homeowners, they put your home at risk of theft. Scheduled showings with agents are much better than open houses.
"Open" means one thing - anyone can come through your door. Many will have no business being on your property.
However, open houses offer real estate agents the opportunity to connect with those just starting to look for a home. Those lookers eventually turn into full-fledged buyers at some point.
For potential buyers, open houses allow for a relaxed environment where you don't have the pressure of having a scheduled appointment with a real estate agent.
Once you're serious and ready to buy, getting a top agent becomes more essential. Knowing what to ask the listing agent manning the property makes sense if you're visiting Massachusetts open houses.
We will examine the essential questions to ask at an open house. Maximum Real Estate Exposure goes in-depth with additional questions you might want to be answered. We will provide ten key ones here.
When you're done reading, you'll be armed with the knowledge to get the answers you need.
What Types of Questions Should I Ask at an Open House in Massachusetts?
When visiting an open house in Massachusetts, you must get answers to questions that could impact your buying decision. The answers could determine whether you will have an interest or not.
Remember that the listing agent may be unable to answer questions that could jeopardize their client's position. You can ask nonetheless to see what kind of response you get.
Here are some important questions to ask:
1. Why are the owners selling the property, and where are they moving to? It is an interesting question that could help you gain some insights into the motivation for selling.
Don't expect the seller's agent to give away the farm. For example, they will unlikely tell you the owner is selling because of a divorce. Doing so would be violating the agent's fiduciary duty to the seller.
2. When were the updates and home improvements completed? Asking about the age and condition of the home will help you determine if it is a good investment. Knowing the ages will also allow you to better budget for when future improvements are needed.
3. Are there any stigmas with the home I should know about? In many states, sellers and their agents do not have to disclose stigmatized properties. However, they do have to answer questions honestly.
So, if someone were murdered on the property, they would have to answer the question without lying.
4. Are there any sexual predators nearby? If you have children, this is an excellent question to ask. It is another item that doesn't need to be disclosed, but the agent must answer honestly if they have this knowledge.
5. Are there any upcoming special assessments? If you are viewing a condo or a property with a homeowners association, there is a possibility you could get a significant expense you did not plan for after the closing.
A special assessment is just that. They are typically one-time fees for a large capital improvement needed for the homes in the neighborhood.
6. Are there any special features or amenities? Knowing about the special features or amenities in the home can help buyers determine if it meets their needs and desires.
Sometimes the real estate agent marketing the home does not put everything into the multiple listing service. You can ask the agent if there is anything worth pointing out.
It will also be essential to find out if there are any fixtures in the house the seller plans on taking.
7. What is the average utility bill for the home? Potential buyers should ask about the average utility bill for the property to determine if it fits within their budget.
The listing agent may not have the information but should be able to get it from the owner.
8. What is the seller's desired closing date? You don't need to ask this question unless you know you're interested in the property.
If you are, you'll have a better handle on how to make your offer more desirable to the seller. You'll also know whether it is a good fit for you.
The closing date is usually one of a seller's more crucial contract terms.
9. Is there anything negative around the property I should know about? This is an excellent open-house question to ask.
A real estate agent likely will not point out any negative features about a property, but if you ask, they should disclose anything that materially impacts the value. For example, if there is a toxic waste dump a mile away, that would be relevant information.
10. Will you accept an escalation clause in an offer? Finding out whether an escalation clause will be acceptable could be useful information if you know you'll be putting in an offer.
Some real estate agents frown upon escalators, which isn't smart, but they do.
Final Thoughts on Massachusetts Real Estate Open House Questions
These are just a few of the many questions that potential home buyers should ask when visiting a real estate open house in Massachusetts.
Asking the right questions can help buyers decide and determine if the property is an excellent fit.
Did you enjoy this advice on questions to ask when visiting a Massachusetts real estate open house? See other real estate articles on NewsBreak for more timely tips and advice. Bill often writes about general real estate, mortgages, finance, moving, and home improvement.