Open houses can be fun - who doesn’t enjoy walking around other people’s houses and imagining knocking out walls and replacing furnishings? But seriously, open houses are a wonderful opportunity to get a good feel for whether or not you want to live in that house. So you need to the best practices for attending open houses. Here are 3 tips for open house shopping:
1. Know What Houses are Open.
There are multiple ways you can keep tabs on the market:
- Ask your Realtor.
Your Realtor is an expert on the local area, so they’ll have up-to-date specifics on properties that meet your criteria.
- Use listing websites.
You can use realtor.com and other listing sites to search for homes in your area with specific qualifications. Enter your ideal location, size, price range, and more. Then scroll through the listings and see when the open houses are. You can also search the Open Houses link to see upcoming events in your area.
- Drive around.
Know of a neighborhood or area you’d love to live in? Drive around there to see if any homes are marked for sale.
2. Arrive early.
If you’re seriously interested in a property, arrive early so you can beat the crowd and get more one-on-one time with the host. Make sure you chat with the host and get as much info on the property as you can. You can even talk to the neighbors and walk around the neighborhood to get a feel for its vibe. Try to see what it’s like to live in the neighborhood so you’ll know if that’s what you’re looking for.
3. Ask questions, but not too many.
Prepare some questions before you attend the open house, then look at the property with an inquisitive eye while you’re there. You want to get as much information as you can about the property while you’re on the premises and have the listing agent with you in person. But be careful you don’t divulge too much on your end. You can hamper your negotiation abilities if you say too much about your position. Here are some safe questions to stick with:
- Have you received any offers?
- When does the seller want to move?
- Is the seller flexible on price?
- How many days has the home been on the market?
- Has the price changed?
- Are there any issues? Have there been any renovations or updates?
- What are the average utility costs?
These questions will help you understand the property and situation without saying too much about yourself. When you get ready to leave, remember to thank the host. You want to show that you’re interested and willing to work with them.
An open house is a great opportunity for buyers, so make sure you take full advantage of it! If you’re looking for a Realtor or want real estate advice on anything, I’m ready to help you! You can contact me through email, phone at (863) 450-8847, social media, or my mobile app. I look forward to talking with you!