One of the most fun parts of being a home buyer is attending open houses on the weekends. Open houses allow you to visit a number of properties in one day without having to schedule a time with your real estate agent. However, when you are not with your real estate agent, you have to pay extra close attention to certain details that your agent would point out for you.
Between walking through the house, checking for damages, talking to neighbors, and staying organized, this is how home buyers can get the most out of open houses.
Schedule a Weekend to Attend Open Houses
House showings can be time consuming, especially when you are going out with your agent every week looking for the perfect home. When you schedule a weekend to tour open houses, you can see multiple homes without having to schedule a time with your agent to take you.
Ask your agent to provide you a list of open houses in the area where you are looking to buy. From this, you can choose which homes to see and get to know the area better by driving around from house to house. This is also a great option if you are moving from out of town.
Bring a Print Out of Each Listing
The hardest part of attending open houses is trying to stay organized. Sometimes you can get confused or mixed up about which homes you liked and which you didn’t. Before going out to open houses, print out the listings so you can take notes while you are touring the house. This will make it easier to review and decide if you’ve found your dream home later on.
Pay Attention to Details
When touring an open house, you’ll probably want to check out the kitchen and the bedrooms first. However, once you get a good idea of the layout of the house, it’s time to look at the details. Pay attention to any damages that may be present and repairs you may have to fix if you decide to the buy the house. Take note of the temperature in the home too. If it’s summer, does the air conditioner keep the house cool? If it’s winter, is the house heated evenly? It’s small details like these that can make or break your decision on a home.
Look Beyond the Decorations
It can be difficult to look beyond the current state of the house. If the owners still live there, chances are that they have personalized the home. While bad décor can make you dislike a home, it’s important to try and look beyond it. Always remember that you can repaint the walls, change out lighting fixtures, and more to make it feel like home. Try to picture your own furniture and sentimental trinkets in the house to see it as yours.
Check the Storage Space
It may feel a little awkward going through a stranger’s house and opening up closets and cabinets, but it’s a must when attending open houses. Storage space is important and you won’t get a good feel for it unless you look. Don’t be afraid to open up every cabinet, kitchen drawer, and closet in the house. Just don’t go through the owner’s belongings.
Talk to the Neighbors
To really get a good feel about the area, it’s important to talk to the neighbors. Let them know that you are thinking of moving to the area and ask them questions about it. Find out how long they have lived in the area, what they like about it, and how it’s changed over the years. While real estate agents have great knowledge about different neighborhoods, only the neighbors can give a true account of the area.
Let the Host Know You Are Working with an Agent
When attending open houses, it’s important to remember to let the host know that you are already working with an agent. Since you have signed a buyer agency contract, you must work with your agent while buying a house. If you are interested in a home you saw during an open house, let the host know that you will have your agent contact them.
It’s okay to ask the host questions about the property, but remember that all communication afterwards will be between them and your agent.
About Agent Lady: Cherise Wynne is a leading real estate agent in Philadelphia, helping home buyers and sellers navigate the City of Brotherly Love, with a special focus on first time home buyers. To chat about getting started with your first time home buying experience, click here.