Laura Rubinchuk: Featured on “Ask A Realtor(R)” on

ask a has an “Ask A Realtor” section of their website, where people can submit questions that are sent to a group of agents for response. They select one answer to publish on their website.

I had the fortunate opportunity to be featured on this question, from a prospective investor interested in purchasing a triplex (a 3-family home):

Q: “I am interested in a triplex. They’re asking 224,000. It’s in great shape. All three units are currently rented. What questions should I be asking the selling agent? I gross $1,875 a month and my mortgage will be $1,350 with taxes and insurance. What percentage does the REALTOR® make on the transaction? I would like to offer $198,000. Is that where I should start?” – Anthony (location is not disclosed)

Here’s my answer:

Whenever you look to invest in a property, you always want to estimate on the lower side, to make sure you won’t fall immediately into the red. I’d also ask about recent repairs: how’s the HVAC? The roof? Gutters? Driveway (if applicable)? You’ll have to consider your expenses for repairs and maintenance when you factor in your $525 estimated profit her month.

I’d ask for copies of each lease, and make sure their security deposits are credited to you at closing, since you’re inheriting the tenants and have to honor their leases (this may vary per state). I’d ask your agent to run rental comparisons to see if the current rents are below, at, or above market value. This may also affect your rental income.

The Realtor’s commission is based on his/her agreement with the current seller.

There are many options to consider when writing your purchase offer. If you feel $198,000 is a fair offer, go for it! I’d have an agent run recent sales comparisons for you to truly give you an idea of fair market value in that neighborhood to make sure you’re not overpaying.

See the full feature on’s Ask A Realtor.