Many buyers have a ton of questions before they can be serious about buying a home. Most sellers believe that the buyer’s agent who will bring these buyers to their home actually understands the features and benefits of the lifestyle that their home represents. Unfortunately, most of the time the buyer’s agent is new to the home as well, not prepared to answer the questions that will seal the deal. So, instead of waiting on the listing agent to play phone tag with the seller and then back and forth with the buyer’s agent and then buyer, the people who have most of the answers to the questions are the neighbors who are accessible while you are visiting the home.
Any buyer who buys a home should take the time to question the neighbors. Neighbors, in most cases will tell you everything that you need to know about the house that you are interested in, how the neighborhood works and what it has to offer. There are many questions that agents are not allowed to ask so don’t expect them to do your work for you. This is your opportunity to ask the questions that matter to you.
One time when I was working with a buyer, we found out that the basement of the house that we were looking and considering seriously had recently flooded. The owner did not state this on the Seller’s Disclosure and even though we could have pursued the house and the owner’s honesty, it turned the buyer off. They did not want to risk what else could be wrong with the home that the neighbors did not know.
Another time that stands out was when we questioned the neighbors and found that the owner before the current owner had committed suicide in the home. Whereas that does not bother many people, this buyer did not feel comfortable with the situation. This buyer was very grateful to be able to make an educated decision that the seller did not legally have to disclose, at least in Georgia.
Many buyers want to know how many kids are in the neighborhood. They envision a neighborhood like they grew up in or have seen on TV. The one way and only way that I know that you can accomplish this is to ask the neighbors point blank questions that lead you to the conclusions of what the neighborhood has to offer. And don’t forget to ask about teenagers in the neighborhood, they are babysitters, house sitters and mother’s helpers.