What to Ask a Realtor in Utah?
Beehive State property shoppers: need some insight on what to ask a realtor in Utah? We’ve got you covered.
Every state has a unique real estate market, and the Utah real estate market is no different. Having a local agent who you can trust and communicate with is an important part of making sure the process of buying a home in Utah goes smoothly, and it helps to know exactly what sorts of conversations you should be sure to have. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned purchaser, here are nine questions you should definitely make sure to ask your Utah realtor when you start your search and when you find that perfect property.
1. What is the market like?
Your realtor is the expert on all things Utah real estate, including whether you’re currently searching in a seller’s market (high demand, low inventory) or a buyer’s market (low demand, high inventory). The type of market you’re looking to buy in will have an effect on your urgency in making bids, your ability to negotiate, and your final purchase price, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
2. How much are property taxes in Utah?
Utah has the tenth lowest property tax rates in the country, which is great for buyers. Property taxes do vary by county, however, so ask your realtor what you can expect in the area that you’re searching in. Additional factors that come in to play include a property’s value, the values of surrounding properties, local improvements, and more. Ask your agent this question early so you’re not surprised by the property tax rate later on.
3. Where can I get the biggest bang for my buck?
You’re probably set on a specific city or town based on your job or where your family is located, but within municipalities, there is a lot of variance in terms of home costs and amenities. Talk to your realtor about what neighborhoods have the most to offer you in relation to your budget and home preferences. There's a good chance that your best buy is somewhere you hadn’t even thought to look, such as an area that’s about to see major improvements or an area quickly filling up with young families.
4. Why is this property for sale?
A Utah home listing tells you a lot about a property, including what it looks like, what its square footage is, and how much it costs. But what it doesn’t tell you is why it went on the market in the first place. Realtors talk, however, and it will be pretty easy for your agent to find out what made the previous owner decide to sell. Usually, the reason is nothing to worry about, but if you find out they’re selling because of structural damage or neighborhood nuisances, it’s better to know that before you put in an offer.
5. Did the seller make any disclosures?
Home sellers are required to disclose any major known defects in their properties. That’s because defects like foundational problems, pest problems, or major system malfunctions can negatively affect the property’s value and buyers have a right to know about them. Ask your Utah realtor directly if the seller has made any disclosures so that nothing accidentally slips by.
6. How many times has this property been sold?
While it’s not always the case, it can be a red flag if a property has been sold a lot in a short period of time. Your realtor will be able to easily tell you when and how often the property has been sold so that you can add that into your considerations when deciding whether you want to move forward with a certain house.
7. What will my closing costs be?
Closing costs generally run home buyers around 2% to 7% of a property’s purchase price. They include fees for a range of services, including title fees, insurance fees, and home inspection costs. Because this is money you’ll have to pay up front (you can’t wrap your closing costs into your mortgage), it’s incredibly important that you and your realtor discuss what yours might be so you have a better idea of how much you’ll have for a down payment and what your total budget will be.
8. How can I increase my chances of getting my offer accepted?
With properties that are new to the market or have a lot of interest, you’re going to want to do all that you can to stand out from the competition when you’re ready to make an offer. Your real estate agent may recommend offering a bit more than the asking price or highlighting your interest in some other way. If you’ve found a home that you know you want to call yours, ask your realtor how you might be able to increase your chances of getting it.
9. Do you know a good real estate attorney?
In addition to needing a realtor, you’re also going to need a real estate attorney. Fortunately, agents work with attorneys all of the time, and they can generally provide you with a recommendation for one who they think you’ll work well with. Because an attorney will ultimately be the one making sure you get everything you want, having someone on your side who comes vetted by your agent is highly valuable.
How to Buy a House in Utah
Equally important to asking your realtor the right questions is performing a comprehensive home search. With Hammer Team’s accessible search tools, you can view a wide variety of homes in the Utah real estate market by city, neighborhood, price point, and more. And if you’ve got to sell first, you can use our Home Value Calculator to obtain an estimate of what your current home is worth.
Get in touch today and find a realtor who knows all of the answers to your most important questions. Start out by filling the contact form below!