When you go to an open house and take a look about, you’ll probably focus on things like the number of bedrooms and baths, amenities, and even aesthetics. But, there is far more to keep your eye on to make it a worthwhile exercise. After all, the point is to learn more about the home. So, it should be used to its fullest potential.
What Buyers should Know about Open Houses
Buyers go to open houses for a variety of reasons. Some are actually serious about making a purchase of that particular property. But, the majority are tepidly in the market. If you’re serious about buying, you should know how to best conduct yourself. First and foremost, be sure to keep your thoughts to yourself. Any comments can undermine your sincerity. Also, take the time to listen to carefully to the listing agent. Remember, they work for the seller, not you.
“As with any big purchase, buying a home should be carefully planned and well thought out before any paperwork is signed. As a buyer, you should use an open house as an opportunity to ask a Realtor questions and imagine how the house you are walking through could work as a home for you. You want to learn and know as much as you can about the house so you can make an informed decision when it’s time to buy.” —National Association of Realtors
Furthermore, if possible, you should bring your buyer’s agent along. This is a great strategy, especially if you are really interested in the home and talks get serious. Then, you have an experienced professional who can represent your interests on-hand. Another thing that can work to your advantage is to ask for a private showing. This way, you can see the house uninterrupted and take your time.
Things to Look for at an Open House
If you go to an open house without your own real estate pro, you can make the most out if it by looking for a few key things. Here are some of the best things to look for at an open house:
- The neighborhood. Now is one of the best times to take in what’s going on in the neighborhood. Because open houses are usually held on Sunday afternoons, you’ll see the “weekend neighborhood” in action. Plus, you can judge its proximity to work and other places.
- Home improvements. When you’re at an open house, you might be alerted to some renovations. These are often used as selling points. That’s fine and dandy but be on the lookout for other home improvements, as well. For instance, if you notice one bathroom is updated but not the others ask why.
- Measure the sense of privacy. This is also a great time to take stock of the home’s privacy. Is there a fence? How close are the neighbors’ homes? Is it on a busy street or cul-de-sac? Is there noisy public transportation nearby? How secluded does it feel inside? Pay close attention because this will come back to haunt you if it’s not up to par.
- Pay attention to other buyers. While you’re at an open house, others will likely be present. This represents a prime opportunity to gauge their enthusiasm and overall demeanor. You’ll probably pick up on a few helpful hints here and there.
- Look for any maintenance issues. An open house also means you have full access. So, take advantage of the situation and take the time to look for any maintenance issues. For example, if you encounter problems, be sure to ask about them.
If you are considering buying or selling a home in Orlando, contact us for the latest market information. We’ll also provide you with the right advice about the local real estate market so you make the best decisions.