4 Questions Real Estate Agents Wish You Wouldn’t Ask While House Hunting

published Jan 27, 2023
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Real estate agents sure have a lot of knowledge when it comes to house hunting. Not only do they live and breathe real estate 40 hours a week, but they also see a lot of different scenarios during their time on the job.

That well-earned insight can serve as a resource for buyers who may have some questions about the process of purchasing a home. While real estate agents are more than happy to answer questions for their clients most of the time, there are a few queries some agents wish you would keep to yourself. These are the four biggest questions they’d wish you’d stop asking, and what you can do to get some peace of mind instead. 

Are the taxes going to go up?

When it comes to financing a home, hopeful buyers are always on the lookout for expenses that could possibly creep up down the line. While Vanessa Alfano, a licensed real estate agent with eRealty Advisors, understands those concerns, she doesn’t like it when her clients ask her if the property taxes are going to go up. “This is a question only the tax assessor’s office could answer,” she explains, adding that there’s no way for her to know what the future holds. Instead, she wishes her clients would ask how they can get that information. 

Can I use the bathroom?

Sometimes looking at homes can mean a long day on the road. Between hours spent in the car and the occasional pit stop for more fuel (and maybe more coffee), some shoppers may find nature calling, which is why Alfano says restroom requests top her list of dreaded questions.

“I have had a couple of clients ask to use the bathroom in houses they were being shown,” she says. “Granted, most had usually driven an hour or so up from the city, but still. These are people’s homes and that’s not okay.”

Instead, Alfano says that when you’re out looking at houses and find yourself in need of the facilities, you should ask your agent if they know of a nearby business where you can get some relief. 

How much do you think other buyers are offering?

Most homebuyers are working with a pretty strict budget, which is why they may have a lot of questions surrounding the financial particulars of a worthwhile home. Still, Isaiah Votaw, an agent of Redefine Realty, says that the question of how much other buyers are offering isn’t one he can answer. 

“It makes sense that buyers wonder this,” he says. “However, we cannot know what a different buyer is willing to offer to make sure they get a home.”

Instead, Votaw says the only question that matters is how much you as the buyer are willing to offer. “Part of being able to answer that question requires information from us about what’s been selling around the home, but to speculate what another buyer may be willing to spend is an endless pursuit.” 

Do you think I can afford this?

Working out the particulars is always best done before you head out to tour homes. Not only could viewing homes outside of your budget set you up for heartbreak, but it can also waste everyone’s time. 

Still, if you’ve been pre-approved but you’re still nervous about whether you can swing the payment, Votaw says you shouldn’t ask your agent while you’re on the property. “Getting an offer accepted is about terms, but also a relationship and image,” he explains. “That question will immediately categorize you as an ‘unqualified buyer’ who won’t be able to buy the home.”

Instead, he says figuring out whether or not you can afford the home should be done either before looking at a prospective home or after looking at the home once you and your agent have had a chance to go over the details and comparable sales.