6 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Making an Offer

6 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Making an Offer

Before making an offer on a home, you’ll want to ask your real estate agent these six important questions.

The home buying process is significant: as one of the most important investments you’ll ever make, you want to get every part of the journey right and land the home of your dreams.

Having a real estate agent you trust and can depend on is key to making the process smooth and seamless. As you go through each step, your real estate agent is there to guide you and keep your best interest top of mind.

When you and your agent have finally narrowed down the home you want to purchase, the first step to heading to the closing table is making an offer on the property in question.

But first, you’ll want to cover all bases possible before putting in your offer. Here are six questions you’ll want to be sure to ask your real estate agent beforehand:

#1. The Home’s Listing History

Before you start laying the groundwork of your offer, you’ll want to ask your real estate agent how much the seller originally paid for the home.

6 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Making an Offer The home's listing history
A top agent should be able to provide the property's listing history via the MLS.

While current market conditions are a significant contributing factor, the price the seller paid for the home shouldn’t differ too greatly from their current asking price.

Knowing the price the seller paid will help you ensure fairness in pricing and allow you to flag any potential issues to your real estate agent. This also opens the door for you to partner with your real estate agent to start planning ways to negotiate your offer.

#2. The Home’s Property Value

Ask your agent what the property is actually worth. This will help you get started on either understanding the home’s true value, or initiate the steps to get the true value of the home assessed.

While your real estate agent likely won’t give you an exact number to submit for your offer, they can provide you with the tools to have the home appraised, as well as provide you with data around nearby comparable homes’ values.

#3. Closing Costs After Purchasing

Another important question to ask your agent before making an offer is who will pay for closing costs, as well as what closing costs entail.

6 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Making an Offer Closing costs after purchasing
Although all transactions are different, your agent and lender should be able to provide a rough estimate well before closing.

Closing costs can be robust, typically consisting of agent commissions, transfer and property taxes, and other fees unique to your particular buying scenario. Your trusted agent can help guide you through the finer details of your specific situation.

Regardless, the seller typically pays for closing costs associated with purchasing their home, though you’ll want to confirm with your agent what this entails and to what extent the seller will cover closing costs.

#4. Potential Issues with the Property

Before making an offer on a home, it’s always a good idea to ask your real estate agent about any potential issues that the seller or the seller’s agent may have disclosed.

Your agent’s knowledge of potential issues doesn’t replace a home inspection, but provides a good starting point of the home’s true condition, which can help further empower you to negotiate at closing.

#5. Your Real Estate Agent’s Knowledge of Other Offers

Asking about other offers made on the property you’re interested in is another powerful question to ask your real estate agent. Getting the insight into what other prospective buyers are offering for the property you want to buy will not only give you an understanding of what your offer is up against, but can empower you with a competitive edge in the amount and terms of the offer you plan to make.

6 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Making an Offer Your agent's knowledge of other offers
Your agent should be able to leverage your offer against any competing offers to move the transaction forward.

This is also a great opportunity to get intel on your real estate agent’s ability to suss out your competition and also how they take this information and translate it into strengthening your offer, along with how it helps them strengthen your negotiations.

#6. All About the Seller

You’ll want to ask your agent plenty of questions about the seller, but we’ll zero in on two key elements that will shape your offer: the seller’s anticipated timeline and their associated flexibility.

Why are these two pieces of information from the perspective of the seller so critical?

  • Timeline: You’ll want to understand the timeline that the seller is aiming for in selling the home. This will give you a clearer understanding of their level of urgency, which could potentially add an advantage to your offer — the quicker they want to sell their home, the more flexible they may be in what your offer entails. And in terms of flexibility, this brings us to our second component.
  • Flexibility: The other key element of the seller you’ll want to ask your agent is their degree of flexibility. If your timelines don’t align, or if you’re hoping to negotiate other terms — think things like waiving certain fees, including appliances, or your own timeline if you’re actively pursuing other properties — you’ll want to be equipped with a strong understanding of this before making an offer.

Having these six questions in mind before you even prepare to make an offer on a home will help ensure you’re fully equipped with knowledge about the property and all that comes with making the right offer.

Don’t let making an offer on your dream home feel like a guessing game — get hands-on support by connecting with expert real estate agents in your area today with RealEstateAgents.com!

Tom Monaghan
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