Real estate agents who work with buyers who come from other communities need to know a lot, because along with questions about the buying process, they will be asked questions that local residents would never ask.

While there are big differences between the questions that will be asked in rural, suburban, and urban neighborhoods, here is a sample of questions buyers have asked me or my colleagues in the past:

  • How far apart is each school that serves this area?
  • Are there alternative schools like Montessori or church schools? Where are they? How many students and teachers?
  • How far from recreation and what recreation opportunities are there?
  • What about taxes? County, city, local
  • Is there a tax difference between areas?
  • If you are near a state line, what is the difference in state taxes between the two?
  • Where are the nurseries?
  • There is a gym? Where? What are your hours?
  • Where are all the churches?
  • Where is the closest grocery store? Is there a discount grocery store somewhere nearby?
  • Where are the bus routes? (School bus and / or city bus)
  • Is there mail delivery to your home? Tomorrow or afternoon?
  • How are the internet connections here? Is high speed available?
  • How about the garbage service? Is it collected or should you take it somewhere? Where?
  • Is there a recycling collection? If not, where can recyclables be taken?
  • Is there a good grooming kennel and / or dog shelter facility?
  • And the vets? Is there an emergency veterinary clinic after hours?
  • Where is the nearest hospital? Is there a small emergency clinic nearby?
  • Is there a care center nearby?
  • How about a daycare for the elderly?
  • If it is a rural area, how often are the roads maintained?
  • If there is snow, how often are the roads / streets cleared?
  • Do you experience frequent power outages?
  • Is flooding a problem here?
  • What about mudslides?
  • What is the average temperature in winter and summer?
  • What is the elevation?
  • Are there poisonous snakes?
  • Are there poisonous spiders?
  • How much does it cost to keep a boat in the marina?
  • Are there storage units available nearby? What do they cost?
  • How much does it cost to have a horse in the stables?
  • Is there a covered arena nearby?
  • Are there activities for riders?
  • Is there a local 4-H club? What kind of projects?
  • Are there Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops?
  • Are all children’s sports through the schools, or is there a local group of parents who play softball, soccer, etc.?
  • Is there an adult softball team?
  • Is there a “city team” that plays basketball?
  • What are the local celebrations? When do they take place?
  • Are there Christmas programs?
  • Is there an opera house or stadium where big events take place? What kind of events?
  • Is there a county fair somewhere nearby?
  • Does the community celebrate the 4th of July?

Phew! I’m tired of writing all that! But keep in mind that these are things that local residents who use the various services and businesses already know. These are things that someone moving to the area will also want to know.

A question that you should not answer …

The only question they will ask you that you will not be able to answer is about the age and / or ethnic makeup of the neighborhood. That is against fair housing laws, so don’t do it.

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