Open houses are a great way to gauge the local real estate market and help you get to know your own likes and dislikes. However, it’s important to remember that the agent at an open house represents the seller. So before you lay down an offer, consider setting up an appointment with your own real estate agent for a private home tour.
During my home tours, I provide clients with an honest opinion of the property. As a Lake George real estate agent, I have been touring homes on a regular basis for 40 years. I know what to look for, and I may notice things that a buyer would never even think of.
Questions to Ask on a Home Tour
To get the most out of a home tour in Lake George, Bolton Landing, and the surrounding region, here are a few important questions to ask your real estate agent:
What do you like? Take advantage of your real estate agent’s experience. Remember, this is our specialty. Good real estate agents will be able to point out a property’s unique attributes and, if they are attune to your wants and needs, they will highlight the features that make the home a good fit for you. Alternatively, if you’re “blinded by love”, this is an opportunity for your agent to remind you of any “must-haves” that are missing.
Do you have any concerns? Real estate agents see beyond the beautiful granite countertops and Adirondack mountain views. We notice flaws that you wouldn’t necessarily see, such as lack of cupboard space or a steep driveway that can become treacherous in the winter. High ceilings, for instance, are beautiful, but I like to warn buyers that they can make your utility costs soar.
Does the home require any repairs? Unfortunately, most sellers do not disclose all of the known issues with a home until you’ve reached an agreement on the price and terms. As your real estate agent, I take a close look at the age and condition of the home, and help you estimate repair costs. Things I typically consider are the age of the roof, the energy efficiency of the windows, and the condition of the boat dock, if applicable. I usually ask a contractor to advise.
Is the home fairly priced? Successful real estate agents keep current on industry trends and constantly research house prices in Lake George and the surrounding region. I will compare the price of the home you are interested in buying with that of similar homes that have recently sold on Lake George, and tell you if the home is priced right. Tip: Beware of the underpriced home. There is usually a very good reason for the low price. Something may be wrong that is not obvious at first glance!
How long has the home been on the market? Traditionally, sellers are less likely to negotiate on a new listing than they are on a property that has been sitting on the market for a while, so this information is helpful when determining your offer. In addition, your real estate agent should also be able to tell you if it’s a relisting or if there have been any changes to the asking price.
I often remind buyers that just because a home has been on the market for a long time, doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong with it. In Lake George real estate, which is primarily a second home or vacation home market, it’s not unusual for it to take years for a home to sell.
Interested in Buying a Home on Lake George?
While I do believe in the homebuyer’s proverbial love at first sight, it’s my responsibility as your real estate agent to help you make informed decisions and tell you when to walk away. If you are interested in learning more about Lake George Real Estate or searching for your dream property on the lake, contact me to set up a meeting today or call me at (518) 361-0230!
Lonnie Lawrence is a licensed real estate broker and lifetime resident of Lake George. Her 40+ years of experience and vast knowledge of the region have made her an expert on Lake George Real Estate.
Why Take a Private Home Tour? | Lake George Real Estate Expert Lonnie Lawrence
To get the most out of a home tour in Lake George, Bolton Landing, and the surrounding region, here are a few important questions to ask your real estate agent.