HOUSE HUNTING FAQ'S 

Just like traditional real estate companies, we offer full real estate services, but we give you something more, the freedom to choose if, and how much, you want to participate in the sale of your home. Thanks to our set-fee model, whether you do some of the work or we do it all, you still keep more of the equity in your home. 


1. WHEN I START VISITING HOMES, WHAT SHOULD I BE LOOKING FOR THE FIRST TIME THROUGH?

The house you ultimately choose to call home will play a major role in your family's life. A home can be an excellent investment, of course, but more importantly, it should fit the way you really live, with spaces and features that appeal to everyone in the family.

At each home, pay close attention to these important considerations.

  1. Is there enough room for you now, and in the near future?
  2. Is the home's floor plan right for your family?
  3. Is there enough storage space? Will you have to replace the appliances, carpet, or mechanicals?

  4. Is the yard the size that you want?
  5. Are there enough bathrooms?
  6. Will your present furniture work in this home?

2. IS AN OLDER HOME AS GOOD A VALUE AS A NEW HOME?

It's a matter of personal preference. Both new and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique taste and lifestyle. New homes generally have more space in the rooms where today's families do their living, like a family room or activity area. They're usually easier to maintain, too. However, many homes built years ago offer more total space for the money, as well as larger yards. Taxes on some older homes may also be lower. Some people are charmed by the elegance of an older home while others shy away because they're concerned about potential maintenance costs. 

3. DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING ALONG WHEN I'M LOOKING AT HOMES?

When you find a home you may be interested in buying, and bring your own notebook and pen for note taking and a flashlight for seeing enclosed areas. Be prepared to "snoop around" a little. After all, you want to know as much as possible about the home you buy. Sellers understand that because their home is on the market, it will be looked over pretty thoroughly.

If you need to go back to a home for another look, we will be happy to schedule another viewing appointment. Be sure to ask any questions if you are allowed to talk directly to the owner, make sure you ask the following questions.

  1.  How much money do you pay for monthly utilities.
  2. What features have you enjoyed most about living in this home?
  3. Are there defects or problem areas that need to be fixed?
  4. How old is the furnace and central air conditioning system?
  5. How old is the roof? Have you experienced any leaking?

4. WHAT SHOULD I ASK MY AGENT ABOUT EACH HOME THAT I LOOK AT?

As a rule of thumb, ask any questions you have about specific rooms, features or functions. Pay particular attention to areas that you feel could become "problem" areas-additions, defects, areas that have been repaired. And above all, if you don't feel your question has been answered, ask until you do understand and are satisfied. In most cases, we will be able to provide you with detailed information.

5. WHAT SHOULD I TELL YOU ABOUT THE HOMES I LOOK AT?

Tell us what you liked and didn't like about each home you saw. It is important for us to really get a feel for what you're looking for in a home in order to find your dream home. Don't be shy about talking about a home's shortcomings. Was the home perfect except for the carpeting? Let us know that, too!

6. HOW MANY HOMES SHOULD I LOOK AT BEFORE I BUY?

There is no set number of homes you should look at before you decide to make an offer on one. That's why providing us with as many details as possible up front is so helpful. The perfect home may be waiting for you on your first visit. Even if it isn't, the house-hunting process will help you get a feeling for the homes in the community and narrow your choices to a few homes that are worth a second look. You'll be one house closer to "your" home!

If you're looking in more than one community, try to make the most of each house-hunting trip. Stop by the local Chamber of Commerce to pick up promotional literature about the community. Also, be sure to take along a camera and snap some pictures of all the homes you like. That'll make it easier to remember.

7. WHAT SHOULD I THINK ABOUT WHEN I'M DECIDING WHICH COMMUNITY I WANT TO LIVE IN?

Good community services, nice parks and playground facilities, convenient shopping and transportation, a track record of sound development and good planning-these are just a few considerations that are important to many people when they choose a community in which to live.


As for individual neighborhoods within a village or city, there is no better source of information than your Help-U-Sell agent. We know the people and the communities we serve, and chances are we can help you find a neighborhood that really fits your family's needs.

8. WHERE CAN I GET INFORMATION ABOUT LOCAL SCHOOLS?

We are your best source. We know where the local schools are, and can provide you with valuable information about school districts, including test scores, extracurricular activities, bus service and more. If you're relocating, we may even be able to put you in touch with teachers and principals when you visit the area.

9. HOW CAN I FIND OUT WHAT HOMES ARE SELLING FOR IN A GIVEN NEIGHBORHOOD?

Home sales are a matter of public record, so ask us! If you're interested in a particular home, we may be able to provide you with a list of comparables - sale prices of homes in your area that are roughly the same size and age as the home you're considering. Although there will certainly be some differences between the homes - the house next door may have an extra bedroom, or the one down the block may be older than the one you're looking at - it's a good way to evaluate the seller's asking price.  

READY TO BUY - FAQS 

10. I'D LIKE TO HAVE A PROFESSIONAL LOOK AT THE HOME BEFORE I BUY IT. WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTOR DO?

For your own safety, and to make sure you're getting your money's worth in the home you choose, using a professional home inspector is highly recommended. A home inspector generally will check a home's plumbing, heating and cooling, electrical systems, and look for structural problems, like a damp or leaky basement.

Usually, you call an inspector immediately after you are "In Contract" on a home. However, before you sign any written purchase offer, make sure that it includes an inspection clause or other language which says that your purchase obligation is contingent on the findings of a professional home inspector.

Your home cannot "pass" or "fail" an inspection, and your inspector will not tell you whether he or she thinks the home is worth the money you are offering. They are not there to address "value." The inspector's job is to make you aware of repairs that are recommended or necessary.

A seller may be willing to renegotiate a price reduction to accommodate needed repairs, or you may decide that the home will take too much work and money. A professional inspection will help you make a clear-headed decision. 

In choosing a home inspector, consider one that has been certified as a qualified and experienced member by a trade association. 

11. SHOULD I BE PRESENT DURING THE INSPECTION?

Yes. It's not required, but it is very much to your advantage. You'll be able to clearly understand the inspection report, and know exactly which areas need attention. Plus, you can get answers to many questions, tips for maintenance, and a lot of general information that will help you when you move into your new home. Most important, you'll see the home through the eyes of an objective third party.

Remember, the purpose of a home inspection is to help you learn things about the home that are not easily discoverable during your home-buying tour. The home inspection is NOT INTENDED to be a "Laundry List" of cosmetic issues or very minor repairs for Sellers to repair or replace. It is not intended to be a "weasel" clause to get out!

12. DO I NEED TO TALK TO MY INSURANCE AGENT?

Yes, and the sooner, the better. Most insurance professionals have a lot of experience in working with homeowners and can offer useful tips about home ownership, particularly regarding home safety and keeping your premiums low.

Once you've found a home, work together to develop a homeowner's policy that meets your individual insurance needs. You'll need to supply your pre-paid policy to your mortgage lender prior to closing.

13. SHOULD I MOVE MYSELF OR USE A MOVING COMPANY?

In almost every case, you can save yourself time and energy by using a reputable moving company to help you move. Ask us, consumer groups, the Better Business Bureau, friends, and co-workers for recommendations, then get estimates from several companies. Don't choose a mover based on price alone - consider the reputation and professionalism of the company, too. Work closely with the moving company to coordinate your efforts and your move will be achieved with maximum efficiency.


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The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.