Commentary

The Honesty In Today’s Home Buying

As the realty market begins to show an influx in homes coming up for sale, are realtors being honest with potential buyers?

Buying a home is exciting and stressful all at the same time. But do we really know what we are buying and the real value of our future home? Most people rely on a realtor to locate their dream home, and take what they say about the home as the truth. Are realtors doing all they can for their clients, or are they simply interested in a commission check?

Most experienced buyers know they will never pay the asking price on a home that they are interested in purchasing. One does have to do a little homework to ensure you know what you are preparing to purchase when it comes to buying a home.

Here are some tips from experts in home purchasing:

Look up the home on a realtor website that shows the homes history, such as Zillow.com or any other website that gives you the homes past selling prices and tax estimations.

Also ensure that photos are recent. Many realtor websites will use past photos of a home and it’s interior, misleading a potential buyer as to the actual condition of the home.

Ask if there are any legal issues going on with the home, such as foreclosure, or other legal issues that may become your problem.

Always ensure that things such as Central Air and Heating are functioning or if there are any plumbing or electrical problems, it could become an expense you may not have expected.

Find out what or if any improvements where made by the home owner, and if there are any transferable warranties included.

Asking prices of homes are exactly that asking prices. Most realtors will tell their clients when selling a home to ask for more than what they want. This practice allows for some negotiations between the purchaser and seller through the realtor(who collects a commission check usually based on the sell of the homes final purchase price). A property that is now selling for $150,000 and originally sold for $82,000 with no improvements, one would have to ask themselves why the increase of nearly $70,000.

Another example of something to watch out for “condition of the home since original construction”, this goes back to photos of the home on a realtor site. A home build in 1979 if not kept up will definitely have issues with its foundation and other aspects of the home. Respectable realtors will always suggest to their clients to have the home inspected prior to purchase. This does not necessarily mean they will find all issues but it will give the purchaser a better idea of what they are getting into.

Realtors are allowed to (what they call “comp” ) within a 5 mile radius of the home. This means they can base their suggested selling price on homes outside of the immediate area. For example an older home in a small rural area that originally sold for $100,000, but has new construction 5 miles away with asking prices of $250,000 would perhaps “comp” at $200,000 but would never sell at that price due to its age and condition.

Many experts express the old saying of “Buyer Beware” when speaking of home purchasing. It never hurts to do a little more research in homes you might be interested in buying before you contact a realtor.

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