Nadel & Ciarlo, P.C.

What should a New York homebuyer ask before making an offer?


Buying a home is the biggest financial transaction most people will make in their lives. This is especially true in New York, where residential property values are among the highest in the country. Whether the home in question is an apartment, a condo or a suburban house, there are some questions every potential buyer should ask. There are questions to ask at every stage of the process, through the day the deal is finalized at a real estate closing.

Some of the most important questions need to be asked before making an offer on a home. For example, it's a good idea to find out how much the seller paid for the home. A realtor can often get this information from public records. Knowing how much the seller paid can provide some insight into property value trends in the neighborhood.

Finding out how much the current owner still owes on their mortgage can be important. If the seller owes more than the asking price, they may be making a short sale. As we discussed in a recent post, short sales present unique issues and potential frustrations for a buyer.

A realtor should be able to tell a buyer how long the home has been on the market. As a general rule, the longer it has been up for sale, the better chance you have of negotiating the price down.

Knowing the condition of the home is obviously important, but a buyer needs to know what to look for. In a suburban home, the condition of the roof and foundation are critical. In an apartment or condo, the age of appliances and the condition of plumbing and electrical systems should be evaluated.

Buying a home can be exciting but stressful. Working with an experienced real estate attorney can help a buyer avoid some common pitfalls and ensure the transaction goes through smoothly.

Source: FindLaw, "Questions to Ask When Buying a Home," accessed April 25, 2016

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