What Should I ask a Seller Before Buying a Home?

Are you in the market to buy a home? If so, then certainly this is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make, so of course you want to make the right decision. As you tour potential homes, there are some specific questions you should ask the seller (or the seller's agent, as the case may be) before making an offer.

What Are Your Average Utility Bills?

Utility costs can vary greatly depending on the location of the home, the types of utilities used (electric vs. gas, for example), and the insulation quality of the home. Many sellers will be happy to provide average dollar amounts on various utilities (such as gas, electric, water, etc.) throughout the year, so don't hesitate to ask. You can also contact the utility companies to see what the current home owner is paying. They can also get you on a level payment plan so you will know what they payments will be. 

What Problems Do I Need to Know About?

Sellers are legally required to disclose known issues before selling a home, though laws can vary from one state to the next; luckily in Nebraska sellers are required to disclose any issues they know about. It's never a bad idea to inquire as to the types of problems the sellers have had with the home in the past, and what (if anything) they've done to remedy these issues. 

Why Are You Selling, Anyway?

Okay, so sellers aren't required to answer this question, but you can gain a lot of insight by asking. If they're selling because they grew out of the home or had to relocate due to a job offer, that's one thing. But if they're hesitant to disclose why they're moving, this could be seen as a "red flag" of sorts. Be sure to do your due diligence and get a home inspection so you know the condition of the property. 

How Old Are the Home's Key Components?

The roof, the furnace and AC, windows, siding. These are all expensive components of any home to replace. By finding out how old they are, you can get a better idea as to when they may need to be replaced in the future, which could affect your decision to make an offer-- or your offer amount. or ask the seller if they would be willing to replace or pitch in on the cost of replacing these key components. 

Take the time to ask these questions before buying your home and you'll be able to enjoy greater confidence with your final decision. Happy house hunting!

Below are the Nebraska Utility Company websites:

Metropolitan Utilities District:  http://www.mudomaha.com

Omaha Power Public District:  http://www.oppd.com

Other Helpful Links:

Douglas Connection

City Of Omaha

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