Buying a house raises a lot of questions. Over the years, we found that buyers we work with ask similar questions. We answer all of those questions (and more!) below.
How Safe is the Neighborhood?
Before considering any neighborhoods look into the crime statistics of that area. Due to the Federal Fair Housing Act, a Realtor cannot tell you what crime rates are or interpret data but can direct you to find information as it pertains to that neighborhood. A local expert should have good first-hand knowledge of local neighborhoods. My first go to answer is to direct the buyer to contact the local police department and ask for criminal history in the neighborhood. or, to learn if known criminals live nearby.
How can I make an appealing offer that will likely catch the sellers attention?
First thing I like to recommend is to ask the sellers agent what it is that the seller is looking for In an offer. We all assume it is PRICE. I have learned that there are many variables to a great offer. Price is only one of the variables. Preparing a well-written letter that would tug on the heartstrings of the seller. Even go as far as having sincere children write the letter or draw pictures of them living in the sellers home to be presented. Offer to remedy any home inspection issues at the buyer's expense or perhaps just give the sellers enough time to move. I like to use Red Sox tickets, dinner gift certificates, or theatre tickets and offer them to the sellers with the offers that I prepare. Creating an appealing offer starts with knowing what would be appealing to the seller to begin with.
I am in a lease, can I still buy a home?
Yes, yes, and yes! I would recommend reading your lease with you to determine what your options are. In the past, the cost of waiting for a lease to expire before a purchase is made on a new home could add up to be more than the lease itself. Offering to buy out the lease with the landlord, negotiating with the seller to pay fees towards your rent for a few months so you could close on their home, extend the closing date on the contract with the seller to meet a closer to lease expiration timeframe are all options. The strategy can be determined by several factors, the income of the buyer, the flexibility of the seller, and the definition of the lease terms.
If I make a low offer, do you think the sellers will accept it?
If you were selling a car for $15,000.00 and I made an offer for the car for $10,000.00 after having been on the market for 1 week, would you accept it? The answer is likely “NO”. The same is true for the seller of a home. It's important to understand the market and the price point at which homes are selling and the time frame. Do you know that currently in Manchester NH the greater majority of homes are selling at an average price of $230,000 in 6 days or less and at a 99% list to sale ratio? This number indicates that sellers are not accepting offers lower than 99% of their list price. This data changes as price points increase. Strategy is always something that I like to discuss on a property-specific basis.
Who owns that fence?
There is no rule regarding the "good side" of the fence. Always a permit will be needed before a fence is erected. By discovering the persons who asked for the fence permit one can then determine who owns the fence. Most fences can be placed on lot lines however there are height restrictions and corner lot restrictions. Who owns the fence can be determined by who filed for the permit to have it put there. All public information at City Hall.