Home Buying August 15, 2023

Tips to Help Buyers Make Every Open House Count

There’s never been more ways for motivated homebuyers to view properties, but no matter how efficient or convenient virtual property tours can be, nothing beats seeing a home in person. Open houses are the perfect opportunity to learn vital details about a home that will help you narrow your property search. Here are a few savvy tips for making the most your open house tour.

Get Pre-Approved

If you’re serious about buying, then getting pre-approved for a mortgage will save you time and help streamline your open house process, so you only tour homes that are in your budget.

Know What to Avoid

Before heading into an open house, research common home issues in your area so you’re able to watch for potential problems. Beware of interior red flags such as water stains, leaks beneath sinks, cracks in the ceilings or walls, uneven floors and evidence of mold or pests. On the exterior, check if the roof has any missing tiles and for any damage to outer walls. Speak to your agent, home inspector or local contractors to learn more about what to avoid.

 Ask Plenty of Questions

Be sure to ask the listing agent questions during the open house. They will be privy to any relevant details about the home that may not be noticeable. Depending on the state you’re in, you should also obtain a property disclosure on the home (they’re not required in every state), as it will have important information about the condition of the roof, age of systems, any known plumbing issues and more.

Have Your Poker Face Ready

Learn as much as you can at each open house but remain non-committal with the listing agent and avoid sharing any details about your home search or budget. At this stage, appearing too eager and disclosing those details can put you at a major disadvantage, especially if you wind up in negotiations with that listing agent. Likewise, it’s best to avoid discussing the home with your fellow attendees until after you’ve left the viewing.

Make A Good Impression

When visiting open houses, you’ll find there are typically requests from the owners, such as removing your shoes and not taking photos or videos. Always respect the rules, as it’s in your best interest to make a positive impression with the listing agent, especially if you’re serious about making an offer on the home. Be memorable by introducing yourself and making a genuine effort to learn about the property.

Find the Right Agent

When you’re ready to buy, it’s advantageous to find an agent that will represent your best interests. Do your homework before committing to an agent. Be sure to read their bio and client testimonials for a better look at their service and personality. The right agent will have invaluable insights to share and make the process more seamless.

While being mindful of these tips, remember to relax and enjoy the experience. You can use whatever you learn as a means of getting closer to the home of your dreams.