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Buying a home can be stressful, and home-buyers typically have a million questions for their brokers. Brokers also need questions answered from prospective home-buyers before they can find them suitable homes. Here are some common questions and how to ask and answer them.

How much should I offer?

Typically, brokers aren’t allowed to tell you how much to offer on a house. They usually can, in an indirect way, by saying that they think what you’re offering is a good price or not. This is where ‘comps’ or comparable sales come in. Brokers will usually show you homes that are comparable or like the one you’re looking at. They have similar features, are in similar neighborhoods, or are priced similarly. Comps can show you how much these houses sold for. For example, there’s an identical house to the one you’re considering, and it just sold for x-amount, but you need to consider the fact that the one you’re offering on includes a swimming pool, or has an extra garage, or is more walk-able to town.

How flexible is the price?

Choosing a price to offer can be tricky: offer too high and you run the risk of losing money if the deal is accepted too fast. If you offer too low, the seller could be offended and refuse any other offer you make. This depends on the market as well.

If you low-ball a seller, and they have no offers coming in, they may have to accept your next offer, but you still run the risk of offending them. Asking your broker if the price is flexible or how much less the seller will take, is a good way to get a feel for what to offer.

Ask questions about the home: Is this home in a flood plain?

Knowing if the home you’re making an offer on is in a flood plain or not can mean a great deal. Often homes in flood plains require expensive home insurance. Figuring out what type of flood plain it’s in can be important too, some are worse than others. If you weigh all your options and decide that the home is still the one for you, talking to the seller can be helpful to see if you can take over their flood policy.

Consider any other types of insurance you may need to inquire about, like forest fire insurance. In some towns, homes outside of the city limits aren’t as easy to ensure, so check these things before you make an offer and purchase the home.

Consider things that you want to know about a home, keep a list of questions and ask your broker or the seller, if the opportunity arises.