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Tips for Visiting Open Houses

Tips for Visiting Open Houses

McClain 12 Attending open houses is an exciting experience for most homebuyer’s journey. However, for some, it can also be extremely nerve-racking and awkward. For one, you’re about to find out if this listing that you’ve been interested in is as good in real life as it is on paper. At the same time, you’re entering someone’s home while trying to critique it. But most importantly, if the home turns out to be great, an open house is a great opportunity for you to make a good impression on the seller’s agent as well as scope out your competition.

So how exactly is one supposed to make the most out of an open house visit?

  Tip #1: Make a list Before you even visit an open house, it would work to your advantage if you already have a list of the things that you are looking for. These are not just random things that you are looking for but are rather your must-haves. At the same time, it would also work to your advantage if you have a list of the things that you don’t want in your future home. You can think of them as your dealbreakers. This way, it’ll be easier for you to critique or judge a home based on the items on your list.   Tip #2: Prepare some questions Another great way to make the most of your open house visits is to prepare some questions. Usually, the owners are not around during open houses and the seller’s agent is the one hosting the open houses. You can ask the seller’s agent about specific features of the home. You can also ask them about the information that is listed in the presentation should one of them be ambiguous or maybe you can ask them about the neighborhood. Either way, having a set of questions before visiting an open house can also help you gauge the different houses that you’ll be visiting.   Tip #3: Make a great first impression Again, open houses aren’t just meant for the sellers to impress you, it’s also meant for them to scope out interested buyers. If a property is located in prime real estate, chances are, there would be several interested parties and you would have to beat out the competition to actually get the property. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is by dressing appropriately. Now, we’re not telling to you dress up for a party, but try your best to look as decent and as professional as possible. This is because you would want to prove to the seller’s agent that you are a serious buyer.   Tip #4: Leave an impression Not only is it important to create a great first impression, but it is also important to leave one as well. You have to be memorable for all of the right reasons. You have to remember to be courteous with the seller’s agent. Be engaging and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more valid questions you ask, the more they’ll believe your interest in the home. You can also try and have a conversation with the agent. You can talk to them about your real estate aspirations or what you’re looking for as well as the story behind it. You can even take it a step further and ask about their background as well. All this rapport will help place you in a better position once the negotiations start.   Tip #5: Make notes on each home Depending on your homebuying journey, you can end up visiting several open houses. This can be a lot to keep track of. That is why you have to make notes on each home that you visit. The best way to remember the features of a home is through pictures. Just remember to be mindful when taking and sharing them. It should be understood that these pictures must not be shared online for the rest of the world to see. At the same time, it’d be best to ask for permission first before you take any photos. However, it would also help you to jot down actual notes. If you notice something that you don’t like but isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker then make note of that. Maybe you weren’t looking for a home with a huge staircase but one of the open houses you attended made you change your mind about it. These notes will be helpful once you’re done visiting open houses and making a decision on which home is the best fit for you. At the same time, if you notice something that you feel would give you an advantage during negotiations such as a crack on the wall that wasn’t disclosed, or maybe the roof isn’t as good as it was made out to be.   Final Thoughts The home buying process is an extremely emotional process. On top of that, it is also mentally and physically exhausting. Visiting open houses is no exception. Not only is it time-consuming but you would also encounter a lot of people through this process. Whether they’re just curious about a home or serious buyers who you’ll end up competing with, it can be overwhelming. However, with the right amount of preparation, you can easily take this process and actually enjoy it.