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
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
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.