Often the first time you view the home you want to purchase will be during an open house. An open house is a public event when a real estate agent shows off a listed home to several potential buyers at the same time. For some people, open houses can be overwhelming or difficult to navigate, since you will be vying for the realtors attention along with several other buyers. Here are some ways to make the most of an open house.
Consider It An Open Neighborhood
Either before or after you visit the home you are interested in, take a long stroll through the neighborhood. If neighbors happen to be outside, say hello and ask some questions about what the neighborhood is like. Make note of nearby restaurants, stores, and parks, or the lack thereof. Take your time and get a solid feel for the neighborhood, as the neighborhood is just as important as the house when it comes to homeowner satisfaction.
Come Prepared With Questions
If you have specifics you are looking for in homes for sale, write them down so you will remember to ask about them. Otherwise, come with a general checklist regarding the age of appliances and major upgrades to the home. Having a checklist will allow you to quickly go through your questions when you have the attention of the agent and let you be confident you did not forget to ask anything important.
Look for Signs of Issues
During an open house, don't be shy about exploring the home. While there may be some rooms that are off-limits if the owners are still occupying the home, the majority of the house should be free for you to explore. Take your time and look for signs of wear and tear, recent painting or repairs, and any strange scents. If you find something unexpected, make a note to ask about it.
Make an Appointment for a Private Viewing
If you like the neighborhood and the home, take the time to make an appointment for a private viewing as soon as possible. After an open house, several buyers may be interested in the home, so you will want to make your decision and get your bid in quickly. Making a private appointment will allow you to inspect the home more thoroughly and have the selling agent's undivided attention to tell you more about the history of the home and answer your questions more thoroughly.