What You Should Ask During an Open House

Open houses are a great way to view homes and with some luck, find the home that you are going to buy.  There is a lot of information that can be gathered at open houses, you can gain a sense of the neighborhood, view other homes in the area and meet different real estate agents that you may end up working with.  But there are some particular questions that you should ask when you visit an open house.

  • The first questions that you should ask the agent in charge of the open house is whether they have had any offers on the home.¬† This will let you know if there is any competition for the home.¬† You should also ask whether the seller has refused any offers and why.¬† This can help you submit an offer that will be competitive and that the seller may accept.
  • You should then ask the agent if the home has ever entered escrow since it has been listed.¬† If it has and is still on the market, there may have been some issues with the home.¬† You should ask the agent why it is back on the market.
  • The next question that you should ask is how long the home has been on the market.¬† If it has been listed for a while without receiving any serious offers, the seller may be willing to take less than the asking price simply to move on.
  • Next, you should ask the agent why the owner is selling the property.¬† You may not get an answer on this question, but the listing agent may let some important information slip.¬† You can then use this information to base your offer on.¬† If the seller is planning on moving soon, they may be in a hurry to unload this home which can be beneficial to you.
  • You should also ask if there are any liens on the home.¬† Finding this out early will help avoid any unnecessary surprises as you get further into the negotiating process.
  • You may also want to ask the agent if the home is going to meet the expectations of a lender.¬† You may also want to find out if they have any comparable listings that have sold in the area in the last 90 days.¬† With so many homes owned by banks, it isn‚Äôt always a given that the home will appraise at the listing price.

Purchasing a home is a big decision, the more information you can gain during an open house the more prepared you will be when it comes time submit an offer.  Agents expect visitors to ask questions, and they are likely willing to answer any that you may ask.

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