What to Know Before Attending An Open House

houseAttending an open house can be fruitful. It’s a way to view a property and learn more about it without the pressure that can sometimes be placed on you as a buyer when viewing on your own with a real estate agent. As a seller, you’ll need to decide whether or not you will benefit from submitting your home to one. Dean Graziosi provides some great tips for this in his real estate blog.

If you are like most home buyers of today, your search for a new property will begin online. When perusing real estate listings, look for great photos. These are what will initially provide you with visuals of the various listings. Detailed pictures are best because they really capture the different features that can really help sell a home in the end. Make a list of houses you would like to view and talk to your real estate agent about whether or not open houses will be held for these properties. If so, your agent will post the date and you can then make a list of those you would like to attend as well as their dates and times.

Go to an open house prepared. Know what you are looking for in a home and be ready to compare features of different properties. Keep in mind you probably won’t find all the features you want in one place the first time around, so you may have some decision making to do once all open houses have been visited. Then again, you just may find your dream home right away. Since you really never know how you’ll feel about a particular property until you view it, having a good idea of what you want before-hand will serve you well.

Take your time. When going through a home, don’t rush. Look at all the rooms and pay close attention to detail. This will help you decide whether or not you want to look at a particular home again or move onto the next. If you like what you see, chances are you’ll seriously consider it as the one you want to make your next home.

Open houses are a great way to view a home in person rather than simply online. As Dean Graziosi points out, sellers should take every opportunity to do this so more buyers can have the chance to see what is really for sale.

Look past the home staging. As an article in CNN Money advises, it’s easy to be so wowed by what you see that the important things are overlooked. Instead, look under window dressings and under rugs to view what may have been covered up.

Open houses can be beneficial, and you can learn a lot by attending them. You can read more about this topic by visiting Dean Graziosi’s blog.

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.