What questions to ask at an open house

Visiting a home is the first concrete step in buying. It’s also the first emotional connection made with this new place. But these emotions shouldn’t distract you from your goal, which is to find the place that’s right for you!

That’s why you need to ask the right questions to get a complete picture of the property and its surroundings. Our realtors in Rawdon will help you with this list of 21 questions (and no, it’s not a round number!).

General questions to ask about the house

Let’s start with questions related to the house and its marketing situation.

1. How long has this house been on the market?

When a house remains on the market for an extended period of time, it can trigger questions about its attractiveness or price. A property that’s been on the market for some time may offer more negotiating room for buyers. However, it pays to understand the reasons behind this long duration. It could be an initial overvaluation, display issues, or simply a slow local real estate market.

2. Are there any previous offers on the property?

Knowing the bidding history on the property can provide valuable information about other buyers’ perception of the home’s value. If several offers have been rejected, this may indicate that the asking price is too high. On the other hand, if the property has attracted several offers, this may highlight strong demand, which can influence how quickly a potential buyer should act.

3. What is the reason for selling?

Understanding the seller’s motivation can have an impact on the negotiation. For example, if the seller is moving because of a professional opportunity, he might be more inclined to close the sale quickly. On the other hand, a sale due to structural or neighborhood problems might require a more cautious approach. You’ll get a quick overview of the emotional and practical context behind the sale.

4. Are there any legal problems or disputes linked to the property?

Legal problems or disputes can complicate the transaction and lead to unforeseen additional costs. By asking this question, you can anticipate potential problems such as land disputes, building code violations, or compliance issues. Save yourself from future legal complications and ensure a smooth transition of the property.

Questions to ask about the exterior structure

An aspect not to be overlooked, as the exterior structure will have heavy impacts (or not) on your wallet.

5. When was the last time the roof was replaced?

As we said in our article on what to look for before buying a new home, the roof is one of the most critical elements of a house. If the roof has been replaced recently, this can offer you peace of mind that you won’t have if the roof is aging and showing negative signs about leaks, for example..

6. What is the foundation’s general condition?

The strength of the foundation ensures the long-term stability of the house. Foundation problems can lead to high repair costs and affect structural safety. You want to spare yourself potential problems such as cracks, settling or ground movement.

7. How are the windows and doors?

Windows and doors are bound to change with the wear and tear of time. These contribute greatly to the good insulation of the house, so by asking this question, you ensure that the installations in place minimize energy losses.

8. Are there any signs of structural problems such as cracks?

Cracks in walls, ceilings or floors may indicate underlying structural problems. If repairs would be necessary, this could give you leverage to offer a lower purchase price than the current asking price.

Questions to ask about the home’s interior

This goes beyond asking about the living area to confirm all the information gathered before the visits.

9. What is the age of the major systems, including plumbing, electrical, heating, and air conditioning?

Home’s major systems, such as plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, have a limited lifespan. Knowing their age helps estimate when replacements or upgrades might be needed.

10. Are appliances included in the sale?

Knowing whether appliances are included in the sale can have an impact on the buying decision and total budget. Kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, stove and dishwasher can represent a significant cost!

11. What are the average monthly costs for utilities?

Monthly costs for utilities, such as water, electricity, gas and other services, can vary considerably depending on the size of the home, its location and its energy efficiency. So find out what your monthly costs will be, to avoid any nasty surprises! This will tell you a lot about the quality of your home’s insulation.

12. Have there been any recent renovations, and if so, which ones?

It’s always good to know what work has been done recently, so you know where you won’t have to intervene any time soon. You can then take a closer look to see if the work has been well done, and if the renovation is worth the cost included in the sale. Many people renovate their house to sell, but is it always done properly?

Questions to ask about the area

You’re going to be living around your home, and interacting with a new ecosystem that you should get to know.

13. How safe is the neighbourhood?

Neighbourhood safety is a major concern for many buyers. By asking this question, buyers can obtain information about local crime rates, the presence of neighbourhood patrols, and community safety initiatives. This helps gauge the comfort and safety level of living in the area.

14. What schools, parks and other facilities are nearby?

Proximity to schools, parks, pharmacies, grocery stores, can greatly influence the choice of buying a home.

A beautiful house far from everything is less appealing than a beautiful house close to everything.

Quality schools, well-maintained parks, and other nearby amenities often add value to a property.

15. What public transport services are available?

If you don’t have a car, you should check how close you are to public transport services. Gather information on routes, schedules and nearby public transport stops. This will really influence the practicality and accessibility of the property.

16. Are there any plans for future development in the area?

Any future development plans can have a significant impact on the long-term value of a property. Are there any construction, urbanization or infrastructure improvement projects planned for the area? Is the land in front of you suitable for construction? Has it been bought by a developer planning to build an 18-storey apartment block?

You get the idea: be sure that nothing will affect the value of your future property on this side.Haut du formulaire

Questions to ask about the neighbourhood

Neighbours, too, are in themselves part of the house! When you visit a property, what’s going on around it is just as important as what’s going on in it.

17. How are relations with the neighbourhood?

Asking this question offers a perspective on the social dynamics of the neighbourhood. The right relationships with neighbors can create a warm and safe environment. You can get information about neighbourhood friendliness, community involvement, and local events. Friendly neighbours can not only improve daily life, but also create a sense of community.

18. Are there any noise or nuisance problems in the area?

Are there any potential sources of disturbance such as traffic, industrial activities or entertainment venues? Is there a neighbor whose three dogs bark incessantly? Take a long-term view because your sleep and day-to-day comfort could be affected. The noise factor impacts the quality of a home.

Questions related to home costs

When looking for a home, it’s essential to explore beyond the visual aspects to understand the financial implications associated with ownership.

19. What are the estimated monthly maintenance costs?

The question of monthly maintenance costs offers a realistic view of the recurring expenses the property could entail. It includes aspects such as routine repairs, garden maintenance, and other regular costs.

20. Are there homeowner association fees?

Some neighborhoods are governed by homeowner associations that charge fees for common services such as maintenance of common areas, security, or other community benefits. The question on homeowner association fees is intended to clarify these potential additional costs.

21. What is the annual property tax? Home insurance?

The annual property tax is an unavoidable element in the palette of property-related costs. The same goes for home insurance.

The list of questions to ask during a home tour in image and PDF if needed!

These are questions you might want to ask when visiting a house!


Download the PDF here!

How many times should I visit a house before buying?

There’s no definite answer. It depends on your needs, the type of property, and your expectations. It’s always a good idea to make several visits at different times of the day to assess light, noise and atmosphere. And remember, you’re under no obligation to buy a house after just one visit. Take time to think things through and compare the different properties you’ve visited before making an offer.

Courtier Immobilier Lanaudière is committed to making visits a pleasant and convenient experience

At Courtier Immobilier Lanaudière, we want to give you as much information about the properties as possible. That’s why, when we visit our sellers’ properties, we answer all your questions and make a point of creating the best possible contact.

Contact us if you’re looking for a home for sale in Lanaudière!

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