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Five Questions You Should Ask the Current Homeowner or Realtor

No one knows a home better than the homeowner. This makes the homeowner an invaluable source of information for homebuyers. If the homeowner is selling the home through a realtor, your chances of speaking with him or her are slim.

But if the opportunity does arise—or if you are considering a home being sold by the homeowner—here are a few questions you may consider asking. (The seller’s realtor might also be able to answer these questions as well.)

    1. Why are you selling? The homeowner is leaving for a reason. Are they tired of the winters? Wanting to move closer to family? Looking to move into a bigger home? They may be unwilling to explain exactly why they are moving, but it never hurts to ask.

    2. How old is the house, the roofing, the plumbing, the wiring and the HVAC system? A home inspection will answer all of these questions for you. But asking the seller ahead of time is a good way to learn that information earlier in the process. What you learn may help you determine whether you’re interested in pursuing the purchase and moving toward the home-inspection stage.

    3. Do any homeowner association fees or guidelines exist? Many developments have homeowner associations that include a set of fees and rules. Association rules could include bans on washing the car in the driveway, hanging laundry in the yard or leaving trash cans in visible areas. It’s a good idea to understand these rules ahead of time. If the association has fees as well, you’ll want to know that so you can budget accordingly.

    4. What are your neighbors like? When you buy a home, the neighbors come with it. So it never hurts to ask about them. The homeowners will likely outline the positive aspects of their neighbors, but there is value in what they don’t say as well as what they do say.

    5. What makes your house special? This question will delight sellers and give you a better understanding of the property as a whole. Follow the homeowner or realtor as he or she shows you the pool, the lawn, the deck, the fire pit and/or the game room. The things they truly enjoy about their home will likely appeal to you as well.

The information you learn from the sellers themselves likely won’t make or break your purchase decision—but it is valuable all the same. No one knows the home better than the homeowner, so it’s a good idea to learn all you can.

ERIEĀ® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.