A house tour may be your first time entering a home that you’ll fall in love with and spend years in. The whole experience can be so exciting that you may not remember all the important questions you’ll want to ask.
Here’s a rundown of some of the questions to ask when touring a house.
11 General Questions To Ask on a House Tour
When you tour a home, it may be overwhelming. But the more you know, the better equipped you are to decide if the home is right for you.
“If you truly have an interest in a home on a house tour, any question is welcomed,” says Kristen Conti, broker-owner at Peacock Premier Properties in Englewood, Florida. “What drives Realtors and sellers alike crazy is when the buyer has no interest in the home but wants to ask a million questions.”
1. Why is the seller moving?
If the seller is moving for work or other time-sensitive reasons, then you may secure a better deal on the home because they have a deadline. If the seller is moving because of issues with the home or neighborhood, that’s information you’ll want to know.
2. How long has the house been on the market?
If the house has been on the market for a while and the price has been reduced several times, you may have more leverage when it comes to your asking price. A house that’s been listed for too long also can be a warning sign of damage or other hazards.
3. What is included — or can be included — in the sale?
Typically, the homeowners take all their belongings when they move out. However, if you have your eye on a piece of art or furniture, you can ask if the seller is willing to include it in the sale.
4. Is the seller open to negotiations?
The listing price isn’t necessarily the amount that you’ll pay for it. In addition to negotiating the purchase price, you also can work with the seller to have them complete certain repairs or include contingencies in the purchase agreement.
5. Is there a homeowners association?
An HOA is a private organization that manages a neighborhood or residential community. HOAs set certain rules and regulations and provide community services. It’s important to know if a home is a part of an HOA so you can decide if joining an HOA is worth it.
6. Are there any liens on the property?
Before you close on a home, there will be a title search to determine if there are past claims or liens against the property. For example, if there are unpaid property taxes or labor costs, you’ll want to know before you make a deal.
7. Are the heating and cooling systems up to date?
Inefficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems can cause your utility bills to skyrocket. Ask how recent the HVAC system is, and how efficiently the home is heated and cooled.
8. Are there any structural issues with the home?
Issues with the foundation and structure of a home are costly and a safety hazard. However, these problems aren’t always obvious, so it’s good to confirm the structural integrity of the home.
9. Are there any unpermitted or DIY renovations?
Sometimes homeowners might convert a garage or basement into an unpermitted living space. If you close the deal and move in, these permits and fines are now your responsibility, which can add to the costs of buying a home.
10. When were the home’s utilities last updated?
If you’re touring an older home, then you may be concerned about the functionality of its systems. An older home might not have an energy-efficient HVAC system, which can have a big impact on your utility bills.
11. What are the pros and cons of living in this neighborhood?
A walkable neighborhood may be convenient for shopping and transportation, but it also could be noisy. On the other hand, a rural neighborhood might be peaceful and quiet but lack a nightlife.
17 Questions To Ask in Each Room on a House Tour
Here are some additional questions to ask as you tour each of the following rooms.
Questions to ask about the kitchen
When you’re looking at the kitchen, think about the following:
1. How old are the kitchen appliances?
2. Is there any water or fire damage in the kitchen?
3. Are there any leaks or mold in the kitchen?
Questions to ask about the living spaces
As you look around the living spaces, consider the following:
4. Are the windows functional?
5. Do the outlets work?
6. Are there dimensions available for the floor plan?
Questions to ask about the basement
If the home has a basement, you may want to ask:
7. Is the basement included in the home’s square footage?
8. Does the basement have two ways of egress?
9. Is the basement finished?
Questions to ask about the bedrooms
10. Do the bedrooms have an attached bathroom?
11. Do the bedrooms have walk-in closets?
12. Are there any bonus rooms that don’t legally count as bedrooms?
Questions to ask about the exterior
13. Is this area prone to flooding?
14. Is there vulnerability to wildfires?
15. Is this property vulnerable to other natural disasters?
16. Has there ever been a broken sewer line?
17. When was the exterior of the home last painted?
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about house tours.