The open house is a staple of the homebuying process, and it seems that everyone has their own opinion about it. Whether or not you’re a fan of the open house, it is critically important. It is during the open house that you’ll get a chance to see the most homes in the shortest amount of time, to help you figure out what you need to have and what you can live without in your future home.
Some homebuyers don’t make the most out of their open house experiences, though. Don’t let this be you. Instead, make sure you follow these tips the next time you walk past an “Open House” sign by the driveway:
“The open house is your time – use it wisely.”
Take your time!
Tip No. 1 – take your time! The open house is a great opportunity to really dig into the nuances of the listing and figure out its quirks. Don’t do a brisk walkthrough of each room and then leave. Spend time looking at each of the home’s features in-depth. Don’t be afraid to turn on the shower or shine a flashlight around the basement. If you do like the home, you’ll have more opportunities with your agent for a more detailed inspection, but the open house is when you first have the chance to do some digging.
Talk to people!
Open houses are community events, and you shouldn’t be shy. Find the listing agent and talk to him or her about the property. Don’t just read the MLS description of it. Also, keep in mind, open houses are times when nosy neighbors stop by for a peek. If you happen to realize the couple next to you actually live around the corner, ask them about the neighborhood! Their insight could be valuable.
The most common open house time is during the afternoon on a weekend. Sometimes, two homes you like will have open houses during overlapping times. Make sure you scan the listing and identify the ones you most want to see, so you don’t miss anything. If you realize you may not have enough time to see everything, call your agent and the listing agent to see if you can set up a separate tour.
Many people don’t take the time to truly investigate a home during an open house. Remember – even if you know the moment you enter that it’s not for you, you can still identify key components that you do like, and this will help your agent narrow down your search radius. That means moving one step closer to your dream home!