Make the Most at an Open House
The National Association of Realtors states that nearly half of all home buyers start their search online. This percentage jumps drastically when millennials or baby boomers are doing the home search. So, what’s the point of an Open House? Plenty if you ask me. Open Houses can give you some insider information and a first-hand look at a neighborhood before scheduling a more thorough tour of the home. Below are some questions that, when asked at an Open House, can really help you hone in on your new home search.
- Before you stop at the Open House, drive around the neighborhood. Open Houses are usually on a Sunday and weekends offer the best time to get an authentic image of life in a community. Are kids outside playing? Folks walking around?
- Listing agents know as much about the property as the owners themselves. Take the opportunity to ask questions! Now is your chance to gain knowledge about the property that you may not be able to find online.
- Why are the homeowner’s selling? If there’s a serious problem (i.e. neighborhood issues, home issues), you may notice some hesitation with the agent’s response. This should set off bells to take a step back and re-evaluate the home.
- Have any offers been made on the home? If offers have been made or are pending, move on. You don’t want to get into a bidding war unless you are absolutely standing in your dream home.
- What’s the seller’s timeline? Are they anxious to move because of a deadline? Or do they want to hang around until the end of the school year? This is invaluable information when negotiating.
- Be observant of others. Are potential buyers lingering? Are they coming and going very quickly? Lingering means the home has some value. Coming and going, get out too!
Ultimately, Open Houses are meant to be informal opportunities to get your home buying feet wet. Use them to your advantage and you’ll be a more knowledgeable buyer in today’s market.... you may even meet your future REALTOR© when you walk through the front door.