Apartment hunting is rarely an easy endeavor. Even with the necessary funds, you will still need to have the right realtor by your side to find a decent place. After a while, you should experience a stroke of luck and find an apartment worth checking out. And, once you do, there are certain questions you need to ask to make the right call. So, let’s go over the top questions to ask your realtor before buying an apartment.
Top questions to ask your realtor
In this article, we will assume that you’ve already found a decent, trustworthy realtor to work with. If you’ve read our previous articles, you already know that this is easier said than done. And, you also know that doing so is paramount as, without a good realtor, there is little chance that you will find a decent apartment. So, if you feel that your realtor is on your side and they are not only looking to earn money off of you, here is what to ask.
Why is the apartment for sale?
People sell apartments for different reasons. Some need to relocate to a different place, and they have no use of their current apartment. Others want to make money and sell the condo for a good price. There are even those that inherited the apartment and want to liquidate it to easily split the inheritance. All of these people have different motivations. And when you understand these motivations, you can effectively approach the sellers.
For instance, let’s say that the current owner is selling the home because they really need the money. By knowing this, you can approach them with a smaller offer that is easier to cash out instantly. On the other hand, if the person is moving to a different place and is in no financial rush, you can present yourself as stable and trustworthy. Every home seller has an ideal buyer in mind. And the closer you can come to that ideal, the better the odds you will get the apartment.
Has the apartment been recently renovated?
By default, your realtor and the current homeowner should tell you about any recent renovations. These serve to familiarize you with the current state of the apartment and provide some history. The more you can learn about the apartment, the better you will know if you can adapt it to your lifestyle and how much it may cost. Know that while there are cost-effective ways of adaptation, not all are advisable or even possible. So, if by chance the topic of renovation has slipped the realtor’s mind, be sure to remind them.
How long has the apartment been on the market?
Judging the quality of an apartment is never easy. Besides looking into owner history and performing a home inspection, you still have to worry about the little things you might miss. So, an excellent question to ask your realtor is how long the apartment has been for sale. If it has been on the market for more than six months, you can be sure that there is a good reason. Either the price is too high for the relative market. Or there is something wrong with the apartment that you are not seeing. It is a good idea to have your realtor explain why the apartment has been for sale for so long.
What are the worst things regarding the neighborhood?
Even if your realtor is a standup person who is entirely by your side, their job is still to sell you an apartment. So, don’t be surprised if they fail to mention specific details to make the sale more alluring. One of the common aspects of real estate that realtors tend to overshine is the neighborhood. So, an easy way to circumvent this is to ask them to list the worst traits of the local area. It is common sense that your neighborhood will have a substantial impact on your quality of life. And sooner or later, you will be aware of its pros, as well as its cons. So, seeing that your realtor is sure to mention all the good things, remember to ask them to list all the bad ones too.
How much are utility bills and property tax?
Just because you can buy a home doesn’t mean that you can afford to live in one. Depending on your neighborhood and the size of your apartment, your utility bills and property tax can change drastically. Add to this the mortgage payments, and you might soon find out that your monthly salary might not be enough. So, even if an apartment seems alluring, it doesn’t hurt to ask about utility bills and property tax. Ideally, you will consult with a financial advisor and come up with a decent finance plan. That way, you will know whether or not you can afford to live in a specific apartment.
Final thoughts about apartment hunting
As we have stated in the beginning, finding a decent apartment to purchase is no easy matter. Even with a top-notch realtor by your side, you are still looking at at least six months of apartment hunting. Sure, you may experience a stroke of luck and buy an apartment within a couple of weeks. But, if you are making plans, expect six months.
While our questions to ask your realtor do serve as a bit of help, know that they are just a part of everything you need to keep in mind while working with a realtor. We would strongly advise you to keep researching real estate and prepare yourself for the rough months of apartment hunting that are to come.