Homeowners tend to have a thousand questions running through their heads while buying a new house. And when you’re so occupied, it’s natural to forget to ask these questions, especially the important ones. As a result, you end up with a house that isn’t up to the mark. To help you avoid such a situation, we have curated a checklist of safety questions. This checklist is divided into two categories, so you know what questions to ask a realtor or your landlord.

Question 1: Do all the appliances in the house work properly?

appliances in the house work properly

While buying a house, a furnished one, in particular, make sure you check or ask the realtor if the appliances are in good working condition. This includes everything that involves the use of gas, electricity or water, such as the stove, fridge or water taps. While these are the basic appliances, you also need to check other safety-related appliances like the smoke detectors, thermostats and carbon monoxide alarms.

Question 2: Are the curtain and blinds included in the deal?

curtain and blinds

Most houses in Canada have blinds, draperies or curtains. These window treatments are an integral safety aspect that prevents others from peeking inside your house. However, whether they belong to the landlord or come with the house is a question you need to ask your realtor. A lot of times, window treatments are not a part of the deal. Thus, it is best to check. In some cases, blinds also come at an additional cost. Therefore, it is up to you whether you want to pay these additional costs or get your own blinds installed.

Question 3. Will the landlord change the locks?

questions to ask a realtor about landlord

Before you move into your new house or apartment, ask the real estate agent if the locks will be changed. If not, insist on changing the locks from your end. If the realtor replies ‘yes’, it is your responsibility to check if those locks are new or redeployed.

This is one of the most vital security questions to ask a realtor because lock-related fraud is pretty common in Canada. There are several cases, especially with apartments, where landlords or agents simply rotate locks between different apartments. You don’t want anything like that to happen to you, which is why it’s better you ask for a lock upgrade. If you are willing to pay a few extra bucks, you can also get an electronic door lock installed.

Question 4: Any safety advice for staying in the neighbourhood?

staying in the neighbourhood

Whether the neighbourhood is safe or not is something you must have already reviewed. However, if you are not familiar with the neighbourhood in general, you can ask the realtor for some safety information. For instance, is covered parking available? If yours is a complex building, you can ask if there is a code or key that you can use to enter the building during late hours?

Question 5: Does the house have motion-senior lights? Is the neighbourhood well-lit?

motion-senior lights

Your neighbourhood, no matter how reputed, should be well-lit at night. Lighting is a huge safety measure to consider. A not so “lit” neighbourhood increases hiding spots for potential intruders. With more lighting outside, risks like these are less. An added benefit is having motion sensors installed. This way, as soon as someone comes near your window or entrance, the lights turn on. Ask your realtor if facilities like these are available. If not, we’d suggest investing in motion sensors yourself. It is a great way to enhance home security at affordable prices.

Question 6:  Does the premises have a fire extinguisher?

ask about fire extinguisher to a realtor

Fire extinguishers are mainly found in apartment buildings. But even residences these days have them. Moreover, since we’re talking about safety, in particular, this is one of the most critical questions to ask a real estate agent. If your home does not have a fire extinguisher, we’d recommend you buy one and keep it at an accessible location in case of an emergency.

Question 7: Should I install a home security system?

home security system

The answer to this question is a personal choice. However, taking a realtor’s advice in this matter can turn out to be helpful. How?… It’s because realtors are well aware of the neighbourhood as well as the latest and most advanced security systems. Besides, security systems these days offer a plethora of options. The best part is that you can control them using your mobile phone and by downloading one or two apps.

Question 8:  Should I invest in security window signs or system yard?

security questions to ask a realtor

Adding a security sticker may seem like a small thing, but it’s an effective way to enhance home security. But if you aren’t sure how to go about it, ask your realtor. As professionals, real estate agents understand the importance of these signs. Besides, they would always suggest that you go for real, authorised signs rather than fake signs that are easy to spot. Be sure to use real signs that come with a real security system like the one given in the image above.

Question 9: Are Visible Exterior Cameras Useful?

Exterior Cameras

Gone are the days when home security cameras caught everyone’s attention. Today, they have become a necessity. From helping you see who is at your door to simply getting peace of mind by knowing that your house is camera protected, they’ve proven to be valuable. But before you install them, ask your realtor about the types of exterior cameras you should opt for. Many realtors do not recommend going too big. So, make sure you take their suggestions before making such an investment.

Question 10: Should I leave the house lights or TV on when I leave?

question to ask a realtor about house lights or TV

This one is a classic! It’s an age-old practice wherein you leave your house lights or television on when you exit your home. By doing this, you’re making people believe that you are still at home.

This practice, however, isn’t really necessary if the neighbourhood is equipped with high security. Thus, it’s best to ask the realtor about it. Go with your agent’s suggestion and install timer lights accordingly.

Similar to lights, leaving your TV or radio on also has an advantage, especially if you have pets. The sound of TV or radio makes your furry friends believe that you’re home which means they’d feel comfortable.

In Conclusion

These were ten questions to ask a realtor before buying a house. This isn’t an inclusive list, but it’s a good starting point. You can, of course, add your own set of concerns or questions to ask a realtor. And if you’re worried about annoying the realtor with too many questions, don’t! That’s because they’re trained to answer them. Experienced agents understand that home buying isn’t a piece of cake. Thus, they’re prepared to handle all sorts of questions you throw at them.

You May Also Read

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the house security depend on price?

Home security systems are worth the expense for multiple reasons. However, they come with costs. The more amount you pay, the better the security.

How to check the age of a house?

To find out the age of a house, you require checking the registry of deeds and documents, or you can simply enquire with the area’s historical society. You may also ask your real estate agent for details.

What is the best house security system brand?

The best home security system brands in Canada include Vivint, Frontpoint, ADT and Ring Alarm, among other top brands.

Why is home security essential in Canada?

Home security is important in Canada due to the increased number of burglaries. As per a survey, 161,291 burglaries were reported in 2019 alone. The figure is very alarming.

Which houses do burglars avoid?

Burglars tend to avoid houses with advanced security systems. They also avoid houses with dogs due to their unpredictable nature.