Being able to inform yourself about the property you are considering to purchase can save you a significant amount of money, years of headaches and a heart break. Perhaps the biggest problem is how do you get the information you are looking for? What questions do you ask? I have put together a series of Power Questions to help you with this. Let’s begin with perhaps one of the most important power questions:
How long has the property been on the market?
Why is this a power question? The longer a property sits on the market the less likely it is to sell without some kind of change. Most agents that would show it have shown it either to more than one client and sold them something else, or they have seen it with a previous client and feel they do not need to show it again to a new client. “I saw that property before and it was not quite a fit because…”
Properties that have been on the market for a long time are considered “stale inventory”. To get the attention of agents again there must be some type of change such as a price adjustment, a repair or renovation, something that will get agents to give the property a second look.
Keep in mind that a property that has been on the market for a while tends to have sellers that are more motivated to sell. They may have purchased a new house conditional on the sale of theirs, they may have moved already and are carrying the costs of both houses, or it could even be a flipper who is currently having the burden of carrying costs of a vacant home. These are just a few of the possibilities but the point is houses on the market for a longer period TEND to have more motivate sellers. This means they could be more willing to negotiate on price.
When enquiring on the length of time a property has been listed make sure to investigate whether it was listed before, and if so, how long ago and what was the latest list price? Has it recently been relisted? Some agents will take a property that has been sitting for a while off the market and relist it as a new listing so people do not realize how long it has actually been on the market for. So make sure to ask if it was listed before, better yet consult with your agent to download the history on the property through MLS®. This will also give you an idea what the current owner paid for that property, how long ago, and improvements have they done.
This is the first power question of several that will help you get to know the house you love and that you want to make a home. To read the rest of the Power Questions, you can find them here: ryanligeza.com/powerquestions