The more interested a buyer is in your home, the more likely they are to ask questions to learn more about it. That’s why after you list, you need to be prepared to answer a range of questions about everything from your monthly utilities to how long it takes to get somewhere. Here are the top ten questions buyers tend to ask.
What is the neighborhood like?
Does the neighborhood decorate for the holidays? Are there a lot of garage sales? Is there a 4th of July block party? Tell your potential buyer! Neighborhood perks can make your home more appealing.
When you answer this question, do your best to relay positive aspects of your neighborhood without being dishonest about any negatives. For example, you could say something like “Yes, there’s some noise on the weekends, but it makes you feel like you’re part of the action.”
Are there a lot of kids in the neighborhood?
You may not have paid much attention if you don’t have children yourself. But buyers will want to know, so pay attention before you list and be prepared to talk about how many kids are in the neighborhood.
What are your next door neighbors like?
If you know (and like) your neighbors, tell your prospective buyers. For example, you could say, “Steve next door is a big football fan. He invites us over every year for the Super Bowl.” Or, you could mention that your neighbor to the right is very friendly, always says hello, is very quiet and takes good care of her property.
What are the local schools and how are they?
Again, even if you don’t have kids yourself, it’s worth doing a little research on neighborhood schools so you’re prepared to answer this question. See how they are ranked, find out what parents have to say about them, learn how well their sports teams do and look into whether they have won any awards.
What is your favorite place to eat near here?
You know where you like to eat and what your favorite dish is on the menu, but sometimes you forget their names. Jot down your favorites ahead of time so you have a good list to share with your buyers.
How long is the commute from here?
Know the drive time and distance to grocery stores, popular retail stores and restaurants and any downtown or business districts where people are likely to work. If you’re especially close to any of these places, be sure to point it out in your listing and in person during showings.
How much are the utilities?
Take a look at your online account, checkbook or paper records and jot down at least your last 3 months of electric, gas, water and trash bills. If you can go back a full year, that’s ideal. Buyers will want to know how gas and electric bills change between summer and winter.
If there is a homeowners association, how much is it and what is included?
If you have an HOA, jot down everything that is included in your monthly dues. Examples of HOA features that buyers like are:
— Community pool/spa
— Tennis courts
— Water or trash paid
— Organized events such as holiday parties or garage sales
— Maintenance covered
— Neighborhood watch
Listing your HOA perks will help you sell the value of your association and may make the monthly fee more palatable to the prospective buyers.
Is there anything wrong with the house?
It can be tempting to not mention issues you know exist, such as a leak in the roof or faulty wiring. But it is best (and legally required) to be upfront and honest about the issues the buyer may face. Especially because your buyer will most likely get a professional home inspection that will reveal issues. You will also have to disclose any issues as part of the escrow process.
If you had issues but repaired them ahead of time (which we highly suggest), then you can say so. It gives buyers peace of mind knowning that existing problems have been fixed.
How much are the property taxes?
Property taxes can be a significant expense and buyers are going to want to know what they are going to owe. You can find the tax rate percentage on your most recent statement or Google “property tax rate” along with your city or zip code.