The Purchase & Sale Agreement, often referred to as “the offer” which becomes “the contract” contains an array of investigations and timeframes which are carefully crafted to construct a period of time for buyers to conduct investigations to help determine various material facts about the home and property. That’s it. Are there factors beyond the “four corners of the property” which may impact your decision to move forward, purchase the home and live there? If so, then it’s time to get to work!
Prior to making the offer it is important to visit the property on different days of the week, at different times than when you visited during your showing(s). Arrive on a Saturday night at 11 p.m. to check the noise level, come by at five o’clock on a Friday to see how the traffic is. Visit on a Tuesday at 8 a.m. to see how many kids are posted at the end of the road or walking down the road to catch the bus.
Look for an opportunity to speak with potential neighbors. Neighbors can be a terrific resource for information about the property and may be aware of hidden problems a seller has “forgotten to mention”. Perhaps they know the reason or motivation for the seller to be in the position of selling. Ask them if they would share how long they have lived there and what their experience and opinion of the neighborhood and the area is. If it’s a brand new home then ask if they are pleased with the builder and how responsive they are after closing. Are there any problem neighbors? Do they know of any upcoming plans in the surrounding area which could impact property values? Is anyone else in the neighborhood thinking of selling soon? If you enjoy the neighborhood then perhaps another home soon coming to market will be even more desirable.
Google the name of the seller as it appears on the deed and do another search on the name of the street and town the property is located in. This may help to reveal information which has appeared in media outlets or other. You never know what you may discover!
When you visit the town office to check on municipal services, stop into Code Enforcement or Assessing and ask about anything which may be pertinent or of concern to you and your situation. Ask if any surrounding agriculture, industry or transportation has been reported as an inconvenience by nearby residents. Consider how these outlying factors may impact your usage of your yard during different times of the year.
Discuss what is important to you with your Realtor and make a due diligence plan to address any issues or concerns you may have about the area and be sure to share any information you gather in your research with your Realtor.
Nicole Foster is a real estate broker / Realtor of over ten years with Regency Realty who resides in Windham with her husband, David a local builder, and their four children. Follow her at www.facebook/sellingmaine.com