5 Helpful Tips for your Next Open House Visit
A variety of people at different stages in the home buying or selling process visit open houses! First-time open house go-er? Avid open house visitor trying to improve your skills? Here are a few tips that can help you next time you step in the door.
1. Start With What You Know
Even if you have never been to an open house you have probably spent some time researching and narrowing down what you might want in a house or what neighborhoods appeal to you. Start in your comfort zone! There are going to be a lot of open house opportunities. It is easy to get overwhelmed and want to postpone the process altogether but if you decide on a few neighborhoods that are familiar that list will quickly narrow. By focusing your efforts and not getting pulled in a million directions you are more likely to take that first step, visit a few homes, learn more about the process and come even closer to finding your dream home!
2. Have An Open Mind About Prices
If you're pre-approved to buy a home in the $400,000 range, you shouldn't be looking at $750,000 properties. You might still visit these properties for fun or to understand the market in that range but when you truly start your search you will want to be more realistic in your process. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't be looking at properties that are a bit above your range, say $450,000 and a bit below your range, say $325,000. Each property is unique by searching a bit above and a bit below your price range you will begin to understand what an extra $50,000 will get you. For example, you might find a home that is a bit more expensive but it places you in your dream neighborhood and is move-in ready. Or you might find a home that is a bit below your range but has the potential for renovation. There are many factors that determine the value of the house for a particular person so don't be afraid to weigh your options!
3. Learn From Your Fellow Open House Visitors
If you have just begun to visit open houses you won't have much to compare your experience too. And when you are actually considering buying a home compared to just looking at a cool house you saw online every aspect of the property is going to be more important to you. You might not be able to tell if the property is overpriced or underpriced or what types of questions to ask about recent renovations, the roof, the heating/cooling systems and so on. You can learn a lot from watching the people around you and listening to the types of questions they ask!
4. Don't Be Afraid To Ask The Showing Agent Questions
During the open house there will be an agent there, sometimes the listing agent and sometimes a buyers agent standing in for them. Real Estate agents generally have tons of knowledge about the housing market and the neighborhoods they work in so don't be afraid to pick their brain. If you connect with a particular agent get their card and contact them again in the future if you need help. Buying a home should be a happy process and you want to work with someone that you trust and enjoy!
5. Open House Etiquette
Please remember that the house you walk into is someone else's home, so walk gently! Think about how you would like a visitor to act in your home. Please, sign in if asked by an agent and respect any other requests they might have like taking off your shoes or not entering a particular room! Lastly, enjoy yourself an open house should be fun and educational!