The vibrant city of Fort Collins, CO promises a high quality of life, with its numerous economic opportunities and exciting destinations. Buying a home here is one of the best decisions you can ever make.
As in any major purchase, however, it’s important to be cautious. When shopping for a new home, ask sellers and Realtors the right questions to guide you in making your decisions.
Here are some of the things you should know:
Why is the home being sold?
The reason for selling can give you room for negotiations. For example, if the seller has to relocate immediately for a job transfer or some other urgent reason, they might be willing to go with a lower bid. If the seller can afford to wait, it could be more difficult to negotiate the price.
How long has the home been on the market?
The longer a property stays on the market, the less desirable it becomes. If a home you’re interested has been on sale for a considerable period – longer than the market average, for example – the seller might be more motivated to sell for less than the listing price.
How much did the seller pay for the home?
Knowing the seller’s buying price will give you an idea on how far they’re willing to negotiate. If they bought the house at a considerably lower price than what they’re asking now, they might be willing to sell for less as long as they can still make a good profit. If the house was purchased for more than what it’s listed for or close to it, the seller will likely not settle for less.
Are there any problems with the house?
In Colorado, sellers are required to complete a disclosure form, which requires them to provide information about certain issues, such as existing liens, problems in major home systems and appliances, termite infestation, lead-based paint, and others. However, there could be other problems about the house that the seller is not required to disclose, but may tell you if you ask the question outright. Knowing about these ahead of time can give you more room for negotiations on repair costs.
How old are the different components of the house?
Knowing the age of the property’s most important components will help you anticipate any major expense down the road. For example, if the roof is almost 20 years old, it may have to be replaced soon. The same is true for the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, electrical systems, and others.
Has the house or any component undergone major repairs or renovations?
The seller is required only to disclose the present condition of the home, and not previous problems like a busted pipe or a leaky roof. While they may have been fixed, they could still lead to other problems down the road. Ask, as well, who did the repairs or renovations. If they were DIY projects, there’s a chance they were not done satisfactorily and you might need to hire a professional to re-do the job. If a contractor did the job, it will help to get the contractor’s information in case the problem reoccurs.
What comes with the house?
While certain laws define what should come with the sale of a property, there could be other components that are not legally covered. Ask about home features like window treatments, lighting features, appliances, play equipment, and others you might find on viewings.