Can you tell me the history of this house?
The most important item right off the bat is to find out whether the broker knows anything about the house at all. Are you dealing with a broker who has the correct information on the house, or is this someone who hasn’t invested their time into gaining that knowledge?
How long has this home been on the market and why?
If you are seriously considering purchasing this home, then it is extremely important that you understand for how long the house has been on the market. If the house has been on the market for less than a week and had multiple showings, then it’s a good indication that some offers have been made or are coming. If the property has been listed for a few months and no offers, it’s a great time to pounce and maybe submit a lower offer.
Are there any issues with the home? Why are they selling?
The broker is not there to decide if you’d like the home or not; they are there to give a fair representation of the home. If there is a problem with the home, the broker should be truthful and forthcoming with that information. There’s usually a reason as to why people decided to sell. What is the reason with this home?
How motivated are the sellers? Do they need or want to sell?
Often, people are selling their homes to move into another home. Is the next purchase dependent on selling this home? Is there a timeline that you should be aware of before making an offer? It is not unusual in this market to find out that those that are selling their house are still currently looking for a place to move themselves. A potential buyer could use this to their advantage in their offer.
What are the operating costs?
It is not imperative that you know the cost of each individual bill for gas, electric, water, etc. However, the listing broker should be able to provide information regarding the HOA fees, taxes and any special assessments on the property. It is very important to know what you’re getting into financially.
When was the home last updated? Appliances?
The listing broker may not know this — however, it’s valid information. What is the longevity of the appliances in the home? Are you going to purchase the home and then find out that the property needs a new roof? Stove or oven?
What is the history of the asking price?
A good broker should be able to tell you about the history of the price. For how much did the current owners buy this property? How much did they invest in the property — the actual dollar amount? What reasons do they believe justify the current asking price now? This will enable a buyer to see if the owners are trying to get a fair price or if they are trying to take advantage of the current market.
What does the neighborhood offer?
You can ask the listing broker about anything specific to the neighborhood that you would like to know. What is the walking distance to the coffee shops? Is there a local school or a play area for children? Is the neighborhood known for being a noisy atmosphere past a certain time at night? They should have a good understanding of the neighborhood and surrounding areas.
Have there been any offers?
This would be my final question. Ultimately, what is the current position of the house and why has it not yet sold? The house may have already gone under contract once before but fell out of contract for a certain reason. Was it a financing reason? What has been the average price of the offers that have been coming in?
Originally from Sheffield, England, Theo found his way to Aspen seven years ago after being chosen to coach a local soccer team and build a nonprofit soccer club. His passion for helping people and building lasting relationships in the valley, as well as expertise in the hotel and rental industry, led him to pursue a career in real estate. When he isn’t working, you can frequently find him hiking on Smuggler Mountain or mountain biking on Snowmass. email@example.com