A motivated seller is someone who desperately wants to sell their home. Whether they have big plans to move far away or are stressed with the workload it takes to maintain the property, a motivated seller is looking to get out of the mortgage and move on. As a buyer, this could be good news for you. For one, it might mean the seller is willing to negotiate the price and offer a quick closing. On the other hand, it could signal red flags. Before you get excited and sign the papers at this new opportunity, have your agent talk to the selling agent. Here are some important questions you should ask a motivated seller.
What Is Your Reason for Selling?
There are countless reasons why the seller might be wanting to move, including a job relocation, hopes for a smaller or larger house, big life events like marriage or the birth of a child, retirement and more. Although it is possible that you may not get an honest response, it is still important that you ask why the seller is moving. Depending on their reasoning, you will know how much room you have to negotiate. The seller may be willing to accept a lower offer if it means they can move out faster, but if they are in no hurry to sell there may be less room for you to negotiate the price. It all depends on how you talk to the seller and approach the offer. Your real estate agent should be able to help you with this.
Are There Any Issues in the Neighbourhood?
There are many nuisances that may be affecting the neighborhood and if this is the reason for the seller to post the home for sale, you should take this into consideration before buying. Some nuisances may include speeding on community streets, traffic congestion, noise from barking dogs or nearby businesses, an increase in crime, controversial proposed developments in the community, litter on the streets, bright lights, poor maintenance, and neighbours who cause disturbances. It is very important that you find out about any problems before you go through with the purchase so that you don’t end up living in a neighborhood that you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in.
How Long Has the Property Been on the Market?
One of the main reasons why a house remains on the market is because it was priced too high at first. Poor pricing strategy could be a reason as to why the house was on the market so long. The longer a property stays on the market, however, the more difficult it becomes to sell since the listing turns “stale.” If the home has been on the market for a long time, the seller may be more willing to offer you a reduced price.
How Much Did the Seller Pay for the House?
It is also important to know how much the seller paid for their home. Knowing this information tells you if the values in the local market have gone up or down since that time. It will also help you determine how open they may be to negotiate. If the seller purchased the home at rock bottom, they may be more likely to reduce the price since they will still make a good profit. However, if the seller purchased the home for more than the asking price, chances are they won’t be interested in moving the price any lower.
Was the Property Previously Listed at a Different Price?
Oftentimes, a seller might choose to list their house at a different price at first and then relist it at a different price. If they listed it at a much higher price at first, it’s likely because they were hoping to get more than what the property is worth and didn’t get any offers. If they listed is much lower at first, it’s probably because they wanted to attract buyers or create a multiple offer situation. Your real estate agent can find out if the house was previously listed, removed from MLS, and then relisted again. They can also check the comparable prices in the neighbourhood, so that you know how much you should be spending.
Are There Any Natural Hazards?
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale that both the seller and buyer sign during a transaction provides information about the condition of the home and protect sellers from future legal action if any of these issues are found. If there are any natural hazards like lead-based paint, termite problems, property line disputes, or major defects in systems and appliances, these items must be outlined. Since there may be other issues with the house that the seller is aware of but may not wish to disclose (and may not be legally required to disclose) it is important for you to do your due diligence by getting a comprehensive inspection before agreeing to buy the house. There may also be underlying issue with the home’s structure that the seller isn’t aware of.
Contact Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers for Closing
If you found these questions to ask when buying a house helpful, keep in mind that this is just the start. Working with a real estate lawyer is common practice in Ontario, as it takes care of the legal aspects of this large transaction and protects you from taking on problems that were the seller’s responsibility. A lawyer can give you peace of mind as you go through the process and ensure you have all the information you need to make the right choice.
Looking for a lawyer in the Toronto area? Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers is prepared to help you. We are a full service residential real estate law firm that provides fixed closing costs to our clients when they buy, sell, mortgage, or title transfer their property. We have over 25 years of experience helping clients navigate the complex process of buying, selling, transferring title, or refinancing their mortgage. If you want a qualified and experienced real estate lawyer at your side as you buy, sell, refinance, or title transfer your property, contact us at (416) 321-8766. Let us help you buy the right home.