Home Buying: Making the Most of an Open House
Open houses have been a long running tradition in real estate. It gives the chance for buyers to view a home in a relaxed atmosphere. Having a Realtor present also gives buyers the opportunity to get a feel for the market, ask questions about the home and the buying process. From those who are just beginning to think about buying a home, to the people who are have already spent weeks house hunting and eager to make an offer, buyers with all kinds of motivations make their way to open houses. No matter what buying decision stage you are in, here are some tips for making the most of an open house visit.
1. Take the time to plan. Typically, open houses are available to view between 2pm and 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Instead of wasting precious weekend hours driving around looking for balloons tied to open house signs, research properties online and make a list of properties you want to see and sort them in order of location. Begin with the visiting open houses in the area you are most interested in before you hit up your next favorite area and so on. When making your game plan, keep in mind that you should allowing enough time to see each home.
2. Take a thorough tour. Sometimes wandering around someone else’s home can feel a bit uncomfortable. The key is to be polite as you make sure you see the entire home. In other words, don’t be afraid to open doors to explore every room and closet, but don’t be opening dresser drawers and sifting through the seller’s undergarments (after all, those more than likely won’t be included in the purchase of the home).
3. Come prepared. Bring a notepad, camera, and tape measure to each open house so you can assess the home thoroughly and jot down your pros and cons of each property. After a day of visiting different properties it is so easy to get back home and realize it is all just a blur. Whether you’ve visited one open house or six, having your notes, photos, and videos to jog your memory can be incredibly helpful. Keep in mind that, in many cases, the home is still someone’s private residence, so be courteous and always ask permission before taking photos and videos of the property.
4. Ask questions. The real estate agent hosting the open house is there as a resource to you! Many people are apprehensive to ask questions or even make eye contact with the agent in fear of being sucked into a pressuring sales pitch, but don’t let your fear keep you from making the most of your open house visit. If you have a question about the house, the neighborhood, or the market, ask it! The agent is in the market and more than likely knows the answer, and knowledge is power in the buying world. Many buyers in the early stages of the buying process have met their agents at an open house and gone on to build long-term buyer/agent relationships.
5. Look beyond the property itself. Flipping through photos of a home is a great online resource for home buyers, however, they rarely paint of picture of what surrounds the home. Attending an open house gives buyers a chance to see what lies beyond the property including nearby parks, schools, restaurants and shopping. Take time to notice neighboring properties as well to get a feel of what and who you might be living by.
Super Semonin Weekend
November 21-22, 2015
The Largest Open House Event in Our Region!
Semonin Realtors ® selects one weekend a month that we call a Super Semonin Weekend. It is a weekend we focus upon as a company to hold as many open houses as possible. We encourage visitors to register for a drawing to win your choice of an APPLE iPad or a $500 Gift Card to Lowe’s, Kroger or Target! LEARN MORE »