As a prospective buyer, open houses are a wonderful opportunity to drop by, view a home and meet others in the neighborhood in a semi-relaxed environment. The advantage to an open house is that it’s completely open, and you can drop by during the specific window without an appointment or even being a serious buyer. Below are helpful tips for making the most of an open house.
Attend open houses early on in your search.
Before committing to a realtor, attend a few open houses and get a feel for the market. Seeing what homes are on the market, what they look like on the inside and how much they are selling for are all important criteria to learn about. Plus, it puts you in a position where you can meet realtors and agents who may be a good fit for your needs.
Introduce yourself when you walk in.
Prospective buyers are often concerned that if they sign in, they’ll be hassled for the next few months by the realtor. This can happen, but it’s not the norm. Still, if you don’t feel comfortable signing in, that’s okay. Politely decline. But, you should introduce yourself and be polite, as it’s important for safety reasons for the agent to know who is coming into the home. And, if you’re a serious buyer, make yourself known to the agent. Putting a name to a face is helpful when reviewing offers.
Ask the listing agent questions.
The realtor may ask you questions, but don’t be afraid to ask your own. Listing agents know the most about the property, and they can direct questions to the seller if need be. Some things to ask: how long the property has been on the market, why the home is being sold, what costs are attached to the property and what fixtures/furniture are being sold with the property.
Watch the other buyers.
If you notice that people are leaving as quickly as they came in, that’s a sign that there are issues with the property on some level. If people are asking questions, sticking around and envisioning their own stuff in the house, you know that it’s probably a good property you’re looking at. Take direction from the other buyers and gauge their confidence level.