Have you ever attended an open house in Beverly Hills? I know I have. It was one of the most lavish events I’ve ever been to. The worst part is I was dumbfounded that I forgot to ask the right questions. And here’s the thing, we all end up in the same state especially when taking a tour in Beverly Hills. So to help you out, this article is in your best interest.
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Attending an open house in Beverly Hills
Open houses in Beverly Hills are a great way of getting information directly from the source. You get to view the house and see if the feng shui resonates with you. Many of the real estate agents might not tell you everything to do with the home, which is why it’s important to go check out the house for yourself. In some cases, you might end up meeting the seller, which could work in your favor if you need more information concerning the house and any document presentation.
A home in Beverly Hills is one of the most sought after. The city lies in California State, Los Angeles. If you’re looking for a private and quiet neighborhood with a close-knit community, then you’ve come to the right place. However, there are factors to consider as you wouldn’t want to spend a big chunk of your money buying a home that might cost you double the price due to renovations. You want a functioning home.
That is why you need to have the right questions in mind. If you’re not sure what guidelines to use, maybe the following questions can help you come up with the type of home you would like to live in.
Questions for the buyer
One of the few things you need to understand when attending an open house is that you also have a major role to play. What do I mean? Well, before you go asking questions to the seller, you also need to ask yourself some. And with that in mind, this section is for you.
How long have you been looking for a home?
- Make sure you’re not doing anything out of desperation. A quick move can result in a disastrous decision. Take your time and attend as many open houses as you can.
Are you working with an agent exclusively?Some buyers may opt to buy a home from a seller directly, which may or may not be a good idea. Working with an agency ensures you, as the buyer, are covered and protected from any malicious intent from the seller. It also ensures that you don’t get overpriced.
Does the current house compare to the ones you’ve seen?A good buyer knows not to purchase the first house they see. There’s always a better option in terms of pricing and the general structure. The differences mainly lie with what you are ready to compromise on. So keep checking for any new listings and keep your options open.
Are you specifically looking to live in such a neighborhood?Beverly Hills is a closed and private community. Is that what you’re looking for?
Are you okay with the pricing?Many houses in Beverly Hills cost a pretty penny. Are you comfortable with that price? You should also know that the higher the cost of the house, the more you will pay for utilities.
Should you manage to get a house you are comfortable with, are you considering making an offer on it?Or do you still want to keep looking? Don’t make any offer until you have decided on the home you want to purchase.
From my perspective, the questions above helped get a clearer vision on what to look for. Undoubtedly, your house hunting will be more convenient as you’ll have the goals in mind. Make sure to ask who it is you’re dealing with. Unfortunately, some real estate agents sometimes send colleagues to help with the viewing of the house. It’s better you meet the listing agent themselves as they will have more information concerning the house.
With that said, let’s dive into the right questions to ask the sellers.
How many offers have been made?
The first thing you’ll want to ask once you’ve met with the agent is to inquire if there are any other interested parties. You have a better chance of purchasing the home if there are fewer parties involved. The more the competition, the more expensive the house will be. If you really resonate with the house and you are ready to take out the competition, then you could offer a higher purchase price. However, if you’re a little too cautious with your pockets, you’ll want to go for a home with less competition, as it will be easier to negotiate the buying price and terms that come with purchasing the house.
How long has the house been on sale?
Homes that have been on the listing for the longest time tend to be cheaper as most sellers are bound to be lenient with the asking price. You could also find out why no one has been able to purchase the home for that long. Are there any issues with the seller? What are the terms of purchasing the house? Are they too harsh? Is the house located in a compromising location? What are the reasons for selling the house? Are there any recent crime activities in the vicinity? These questions will help you decide on whether to proceed with the house tour or not.
How long has the house been on this asking price?
Some homes appreciate value while others depreciate. Most sellers, however, tend to lower the asking price after a while. If you find that the house has been on sale for quite some time, you could be in an advantageous position. You can make an offer, and chances are the seller will accept it. You can also change the terms that come with purchasing the house.
On the other hand, it’s essential to do a little digging just to make sure you’re making the right decision. Some homes might be valued higher than they should be, So if you can find a better home with a lesser asking price, the better.
Why are the sellers selling the house?
It’s crucial to find out why the sellers have opted to move. The neighborhood is prestigious and most sought after. Why would anyone want to move from Beverly Hills? Well, some people just want a fresh start. Others have gotten transferred to different states because of school or work, and others may want to be closer to their families residing elsewhere. Whichever the reason, it’s crucial to find out why to avoid incurring future issues. Do your due diligence.
Does the seller have a timeline?
Once you know the expectations of your seller, it’s easier to plan yourself. If you’re taking a mortgage for the house, it’s easier to arrange for a plan once you know the deadline for paying the total amount. Additionally if you have children, it’s less strenuous to organize for the move if the seller’s timeline corresponds with your plans. However, in some situations, the seller might give a very slim timeline which can come off as suspicious. Is the house in a wreck? Be keen and find out.
How old is the home?
Older houses tend to incur more costs when it comes to maintenance. If you’re not too careful, you might end up purchasing a house that needs a lot of updates, especially water pumping and electrical appliances. Check if the house has been appropriately renovated and if any recent updates have been made.
Does the house have any issues?
At this point, the listing agent may have shared with you the seller’s disclosure. If not, be sure to ask for one. Asking questions that are not included in the disclosure will help you understand the house properly. Has the seller included details about the structure of the home? Have any tests been done to certify the home is safe? Has the house ever experienced any structural problems? Does it currently have any underlying structural complications? If you’re going to spend money, you might as well spend it on something worthwhile.
Has the home been tested?
Has the seller done any tests to show how safe the home is? Most homeowners do tests for mold, radon, lead, and asbestos. You should not purchase a home without seeing the report that show the house was inspected. An old house can sometimes be a health hazard. The seller has to be willing to see to it that changes are made, and the house is safe.
To help you know if the home has been inspected, ask for the property disclosure. This document will show you if the home has had any issues or if it was built before the year 1978. If the seller has not done any tests, you can negotiate for it to be done upfront. You can also negotiate for a discounted price as well and do the tests yourself. This may be expensive since the costs can go up to a hefty couple of thousands of dollars, not including the renovations and changes you have to make in case the home is found unfit to live in.
When was the house last renovated?
To cut costs, some homeowners prefer to do their renovations. This could be pretty dangerous. DIYs aren’t necessarily hazardous, but if you want your home to last longer without constantly having to pay for renovation costs, you had better ask an expert to do the repairs. If the seller has already ensured that, make sure to ask for the permits.
Another part of the house people overlook is the roof. How recently was it replaced? Leaking roofs can easily be overlooked because, honestly, who’s going to be keen enough to check if there are any cracks up there? We all assume since someone was living in it, the roof is perfectly fine. Unfortunately, the weather isn’t at all that rainy, so you may not find any stains on the ceiling. Be sure to ask how soon the leaks were sealed and if there’s a plan to get the roof fixed. The goal is to let the seller burden the costs of these repairs. You would rather buy a complete mansion than purchase a house in serious need of repairs.
Make sure to also ask for the permits showing upgrades were done and completed.
Does the house come with the decor?
You can quickly mistake a chandelier to be part of the house when in truth, the seller has left it there for show. Once you purchase the house, you’re going to have to buy your own chandelier. This example applies to many other appliances in the house. Confirm what comes with purchasing the home. Be prepared to buy and install your own appliances if the price doesn’t include the interior decor. Most sellers prefer to leave with their appliances, especially if they are in excellent condition.
If the seller agrees to leave the appliances behind, ask about the warranty on these items. Check for the condition they’re in. It’s essential to know how much you’re going to have to budget in regards to appliances.
What are the costs for utilities?
Los Angeles is known for having sweltering and sunny weather. In 2015, California recorded a drought season, and Beverly Hills was known for its excessive water consumption. Measures were put in place to curb the water shortage. With this background information, it’s essential to check on costs for utilities such as water, gardening, lawn mowing, electricity, and so on. Some neighborhoods have very high costs to maintain a constant supply of these utilities. This includes items such as cooling facilities. If the house has an older cooling system, replacing it with a modern appliance may prove to be more economical and environmentally friendly. Many buyers ignore this simple point and end up spending way above their budget.
Things you can also check on include: gas, electricity costs, water, propane heating, and other public fees such as garbage collection and free membership for the registered city residents. There could be more hidden costs, which is why it’s important to ask.
What’s the neighborhood like?
Is the community friendly to newcomers? Is there a Home Ownership Association? Are there terms and conditions for moving into the neighborhood? How convenient is the location of the house? You don’t want to move into a stressful environment. Check for local events that might introduce you to new people in the community and allows you to network. Look out for information about the local crime rate as well.
Above all, ask for copies of the terms and conditions concerning being part of the neighborhood. Some Associations produce copies. Look through them and check to see if you find them agreeable.
You can also find out what rules are there when it comes to pets, painting your house, allowing guests to visit, and rental parameters. Some communities are very private and insist on letting everyone else know you have guests coming over to your place. You need to be cautious about the rules that come with living in the community you’re in.
How accessible are the local stores and common utilities?
If you have children, how easily accessible is a school? Are there any local stores and malls around? How far are they from the house? Is the house alongside the main road? Can you quickly access the park? Does public transport pass near the house? It would be best if you looked at how convenient the house is. Some homes or neighborhoods may require you to have your private means of accessing these commodities. This may inconvenience you if you’re used to accessing a mall or gym in less than a minute.
In emergencies, it’s vital to make sure urgent care centers and hospitals are within reach. Find out from the listing agent the nearest reputable institutions and healthcare facilities. You can also ask about the nearest mall and restaurant and of course cultural facilities such as the museums. All of which you can see on a map, but it’s also important to get recommendations. That way you know what to prefer.
What will it take to purchase the house?
Knowing and understanding the motivation behind the seller’s reason for selling the house or the timeline involved may not be enough. If the house has many offers, you may want to increase your chances by doing what might work in your favor to purchase the home.
While some sellers want a hefty down payment, others have reservations about knowing who you are and whether you have any intentions of changing the landscape or home, generally speaking. Some sellers refuse to sell their homes if the buyer has plans to reconstruct the entire home. They may look at it as a disrespectful gesture, especially if it’s a generational home.
Make sure to know who your seller is and align your intentions with their expectations. This way, you’re sure to buy the home.
Have there ever been any price reductions?
Has the price of the house experienced any market price fluctuations? If so, why? Sometimes the price might fluctuate due to an unstable economy. Other times because the seller chooses to change the pricing. Whichever the case, it’s better to know earlier to avoid getting inconvenienced in the future during payment.
Are there contingencies the seller won’t accept?
A contingent house listing means that a buyer made an acceptable offer. However, there is a criterion to be met before the sale is accepted. Depending on the seller, different types of contingencies apply when buying a house. It’s important to check in with your listing agent to know exactly what type of contingencies are acceptable. In which case, if the seller allows for a contingency you are not comfortable with, you may as well look into buying another house. Ask your realtor to explain the nature of the contingent offer if you genuinely don’t understand. You can also reach out to an expert to help you make the correct decision.
Once you are done viewing the home, you can ask yourself the following questions.
- Does the place resonate with you? Does it feel comfortable? Does it feel like home?
- Can you see yourself living there?
- Does your cell phone have a clear signal?
- During the tour, did you encounter any unpleasant odors?
- Do you think all your furniture will fit? Aside from physically fitting in, will the furniture give off an aesthetic look and feel to the home?
- Are there any more renovations you’d like to make? Just to make the place more comfortable for you? Are the costs within your budget?
- Can you see that house becoming your home? Can you envision yourself in that space?
And that’s it! Armed with these questions, I bet your open house tour in Beverly Hills will definitely be a breeze.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, you know what you want and how you feel about the home. So go with your instinct and be wise about your decision. More importantly, don’t forget, only you can answer the most important question; “Does this feel like home?” Asking these questions shows how serious you are as a buyer and the lengths to which you’re willing to go to purchase the home.
Hey, I’m Erik Brown, a Realtor dedicated to helping you with any open house tours, transactions and eventual house purchases, especially when putting so much money, time, and attention on the line. It’s a good idea to have a Beverly Hills realtor beside you to understand what’s going on so you won’t get taken advantage of.
I, (email to: [email protected]) have extensive experience working with all kinds of buyers in Beverly Hills REALTOR & Luxury Home Specialist.
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