Questions You Should to Ask Sellers


When you’re about to put your hard-earned money into a home, you want to know everything

you can about that home’s history. While there are common questions to ask about a home’s

condition, history, and location, there are some questions buyers often overlook. In New York

State Sellers are required to fill out a Property Condition Disclosure or give the purchaser a $500

Credit. If they give the credit it is advisable to ask the questions to protect your potential

investment. These questions can help you get to the bottom of potential pitfalls:


1. Have you ever had asbestos removed from the home? Old heating ducts, ceilings, and

even certain types of flooring can contain asbestos. If they’ve had asbestos removed, follow-up

with how it was removed. Did they have professional remove it?


2. Has there ever been mold remediation in the home? Mold can be a serious issue. Much

like asbestos, find out how it was removed if it’s ever been a problem.


3. Has the home been tested for lead? Homes built before 1978 may be at elevated risk for

lead contamination.


4. Were renovations properly permitted and inspected? If there’s been work done on the

home, find out if those renovations are legal and up to code. This will most likely come up during

the municipal search by your title company.


5. Is there now or has there ever been an underground oil tank on premises? Heating oil

tanks are common in some areas, even if old heating systems have been upgraded. You want to

know if a tank is still underground, and if one has been removed. If they had an tank removed

ask for a copy of the certificate of abandonment to keep in your files.


6. Is the home in a flood zone?  Do they know? If they know, do they have flood insurance? Who

provided it?


7. Have radon levels been tested in the home recently? Indoor air quality is very important,

and radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can contribute to lung cancer.


If a seller or their agent can’t answer these questions, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re hiding

something. But asking these questions can save you time, money, or even your life down the

line. If there is any doubt it is strongly advised that you have the proper testing during the

inspection time laid out in the offer to purchase. Typically a buyer is given a period of 7-10 days

for due diligence to hire a licensed home inspector to check the major components of the home

and do lead, mold, radon, water, septic and other testing as suggested.