Home ownership is not for everyone – the recent collapse of the housing market is one clear indicator.

If you’re serious about buying a property, you must understand that it is a significant, long-term commitment that doesn’t just rely on strong financial standing but also the right timing.

Here are 7 important questions to ask your realtor before buying a home.

1. What is the house worth?

Ask your realtor to provide you with a recent property sales report to show why the house is worth what it is being sold for. Don’t forget to have included other similar properties and their selling value so you can have something for comparison.

The comparative market analysis (CMA) is a listing of homes currently for sale and recently sold in the area. This is your starting point for knowing if the market value of the potential house you’re trying to buy is worth its price and would eventually be a good deal for you.

2. Why is the vendor selling?

It is important to determine the answer to this question because it can potentially cut a significant amount of cash off the original selling price. For example, if the vendor has already bought a property recently, they will be more motivated to sell and are willing to consider your offer.

3. Exactly what is included in the sale?

Important-Questions-to-Ask-Your-Realtor-Before-Buying-a-Home-2Does it include all the fixtures and fittings? What about its garden shed, patio furniture, or greenhouse? Make sure to see all of what you are getting so you can factor in the necessary details that make up for the whole value of the property.

4. When do the sellers have to move out?

Knowing whether the sellers have found another home or not – it is vital to your decision of buying that particular property. You don’t want to wait longer than you intend to, just so the previous owners can move out.

5. How long has the property been on the market?

An ideal property is something that has not been in the market for longer than two months. If this is the case, there are just two things about it: there is something wrong with it or it is wrongly priced.

6. What is the neighborhood’s growth and decline trend in the market?

Good realtors can identify and recognize trends in the market – whether a particular property is a hot deal or not. They should be able to tell you whether your house is in an area that has the potential of being a bustling neighborhood or in danger of having too many foreclosures in the near future.

7. How do your realtor fees work?

Most realtors, instead of charging a flat fee, take a percentage of the final sale price of a property. Their commission is entirely dependent on the market. A booming real estate market can lower a realtor’s commission because homes are easier to sell. Consequently, when homes are harder to sell, it might force your realtor to ask for a higher rate because of the workload that has to be done in order to finish the sale.

This means, you’re going to get the tail-end of a much more expensive property than it should be. So it is up to you if you will take into consideration the neighborhood your house belong to as well as the realtor fees – whether it’s charged to the buyer or a top-up to the original price of the property.

And even before you ask these 7 important questions to your realtor, ask yourself this:

Why should I buy this property now?

The simplest questions, most often, are the ones left unasked. You have to determine whether you’re intending to use it as your home for many years to come, or as an investment you wish to sell after a considerable gain in its value.

The bottom line is, if you don’t know the answer clean and simple. It is a life-changing decision that can affect your financial stability and influence your lifestyle for years to come so make sure you know the exact reasons why you’re buying a home.