Questions to ask a seller

I saw an ad in the paper this morning for a house in the country that needs some work. There asking $15,500 and will owner finance. Before I call the seller, I’d like to know exactly what I should ask him/her. The good thing is is that I’m familiar with the area because I lived there for 5 years and I don’t think it would be difficult to sell or rent if it is worth it.

The questions that come to my mind are of course, the address, what kind of work it needs, are there any liens? I know there are bound to be others. I’d appreciate any suggestions. I’ll have more questions if it turns out to be a workable deal.

Thanks for your help. :slight_smile:


I don’t use a script because I think the seller can tell when your using a script. I just work the questions into the conversation when and where appropriate.

In no particular order:

size, square footage, # of beds and baths
what type of foundation, slab or pier and beam
type of roof?
does it have central heat and air?
does it have a garage? if so has the garage ever been converted?
do appliances convey, if any?
city water or septic?
why are you selling?
how long have they tried to sell it?
how long have they owned it?
what repairs, if any, does it need?
what did the owner use it for, personal residence, or rental?
if rental, how much did it rent for? and you’ll need to see the leases.
when was the last time it was rented? assuming it was a rental
does the owner need the cash now or would they carry the paper?
if they will owner finance, what interest rate, how long, how much down?
is the note assumable? probably not, but worth asking?
is there existing financing? if yes, how much, interest rate, payments, etc.
what are they yearly taxes?
what is the yearly insurance premium?
what does the owner like least/most about the property?

The list goes on and on. Obviously not all questions will apply and not all should be asked with the first phone conversation. Many will be answered when you see the property.

I’m sure I left out a lot of questions, but these will get you started.

These are the questions I use on my buying site and for my answering service:

Primary phone:
Other phone:
Property Address:
How much are you asking us to pay for your house?:
Estimated value:
Why are you selling?:
How soon do you need to move or sell? :
Is The House Occupied Or Vacant?:
Does your house need repairs?:
What repairs are needed?:
Est. Value of needed repair$:
Is the house listed with a realtor?:
Listed Price:
How did you determine your price:
Number of Payments Behind:
Monthly payment $$:
Mortgage balance:
interest Rate:
Fixed or Adjustable rate (ARM):
Are your property taxes and insurance included in your monthly 1st mortgage payment?:
Is there a second mortgage or lien on the house?:
Would you be willing to sell your house by allowing us to take over your monthly mortgage payments?:
Would you sell your house for what you owe on it? :
Would you be willing to receive any of your equity in the form of monthly payments?:
Is there anything else that we should be aware about concerning your situation? :
Please let us know about any special circumstance, for example foreclosure sale date