First Real Estate Showing. Need advice!

5 Replies

I am new to the world of Real Estate and I am going to see my first luxury condo in downtown Denver on Tuesday and was looking for some advise as to what questions I should ask the Real Estate broker when seeing the property? I have all of the information on asking price, square footage, year built, HOA dues, taxes, earnest money, appliances included, HOA inclusions, and all of the utilities that are included in HOA dues. I just need some questions that will really bring out the true value of the property. Thank you for your help and time.

@Dalton Skach  Are you meeting with the listing agent or are you meeting your buyer's agent? Which building is it? We might be able to shed some light on it if you let us know. If you don't have an agent, I could send you some comps.

Make sure to check out all HOA rules, minutes, etc. See if there are any special assessments in the works. Ask why they are selling. Talk to the neighbors and people in the building. Spend some time in the common areas to get a feel for the place. Go back when people are coming home from work to see it as well.

@Dalton Skach define what "true value" means to you and ask questions accordingly. Are you buying it as a home you'll enjoy - what things do you need to know for that? Do you want to know if it has appreciation or rental value? Ask about rental restrictions, market rents, or value for dollars compared with other nearby buildings. And as Matt said, observe, observe, observe. Talk to the people you run into in the elevator. I was on a showing once, gorgeous unit, great location, but the lady in the elevator told the HOA had passed a rule that the buyer would have to put down carpet (over the beautiful hardwoods) because the sound transfer between units was so bad. That info is GOLD.

@Dalton Skach  If they want "market value", my best advice would be to take any talk of future ANTICIPATED appreciation with very big grain of salt ie. Would you still consider going into it, given the possible scenario is of it being worth not a cent more, or even less, in ten years time? You had better believe that those sort of scenarios are commonplace in the real world! Cheers...

Thanks, everyone!!! These tips and advice are awesome.  I have made notes and I'll post my findings on a forum for more advice once I view the property.

@Dalton Skach get a copy of the HOA docs and read them. Yes, read every word of them. They may not change your mind on purchasing the unit but it puts you in the correct mindset for when you own the unit.

You will want to know the reserves of the HOA as well. Low reserves may mean a special assessment is in the works or that the HOA fees are going up. See what cap ex items have been done in the last 5 years. Find out if they have any plans for cap-ex in the next 5 years and make sure they have funds set aside for that.

Find out the management company and do research on them. 

I would say this, you can probably save the deep digging until you find a unit you want.

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