Tips for Attending an Open House
If you're in the market for a new home, follow these tips for attending an open house to make the most of the time that you spend searching for a new property.
Benefits of Open House Events
One of the best ways to get an idea of the types of properties that are available in the areas where you are interested in living is to attend a number of open house events. This will allow you to identify features that you like and dislike, as well as develop a solid understanding of the types and conditions of properties available in your price range.
Six Tips for Attending an Open House
- Conduct Advance Research – Spend some time thinking about your preferences and needs for a home, as well as researching the real estate market in the area where you are thinking about buying property, before you begin attending open houses. Look at factors like school districts, proximity to work, potential resale value, and other relevant information. This information can allow you narrow down the neighborhoods and homes that you select to tour appropriately.
- Set Aside Plenty of Time – Open houses are typically scheduled on weekend days, so leave a few weekend days open on your schedule when you are in the process of shopping for a home. When you find an open house in a neighborhood that interests you, look around for other properties that you can visit on the same day. Take your time when walking through each home so that you can fairly assess whether or not it will meet your needs.
- Use Your Wish List – Make a wish list of all of the attributes a property needs to have, keeping in mind what you can realistically expect to find for the amount of money you are able to spend. Draw up a list of essential features, such as the number of bedrooms you must have, as well as a list of features that you would like, but could live without if necessary. Take the wish list with you every time you visit an open house. Make notes on the list so that you will be able to make fair comparisons about the different properties you visited when narrowing down your choices.
- Keep an Open Mind – Don't make up your mind about whether or not you are going to like a particular property before you even set foot in the door. Many homes that don't look very appealing from the outside are absolutely beautiful inside. Additionally, you're likely to learn something about the process of buying a house with every open house you attend, even if the property isn't right for you.
- Discuss Preferences with the Realtor – Even if the home you are touring does not meet your needs, take the time to discuss your needs with the Realtor who is showing the property. He or she may know of other properties for sale or ones that are about to go on the market that meet your needs.
- Avoid Emotional Purchase Decisions – The decision to buy a house is an important one that should not be taken lightly. When you walk through a home as part of an open house event, it's easy to experience the sensation of falling in love with the property at first sight. If it seems that other people at the event are also interested in the home, it can be tempting to talk yourself into rushing into making an offer before you have truly evaluated the property and checked if the asking price is appropriate. Don't rush into a decision that you may regret. Rather than making an offer on a home because you find it appealing when you attend an open house, schedule a time to go back and tour the house in a few days. If you still feel the same way, making an offer may be the right thing to do. However, you just might find that you're less excited about the house when it isn't full of other people who also seem interested in purchasing it.
Enjoy a Productive Real Estate Shopping Experience
Following these tips for attending an open house is a great way to ensure that you are able to make the most of your time when shopping for a new home. Once you've found a property with all the features you need in a great neighborhood, you'll be ready to make an offer and begin making progress toward securing a mortgage loan.