What to Look For in an Open House
Like any big purchase buying a home is not a snap decision & must be carefully planned & thought out before making the purchase. Use the open house as an opportunity to ask questions & imagine how the house will work with your lifestyle. You want to learn about the house so you can make an informed decision.
What questions can we ask the realtor sitting the open house?
*Usually they will give you a fact sheet that will detail everything you need to know about the property.(1) And it can include when was the house built? (2) How many days on the market? (3)What appliances & features are being sold with the house? (4) For parents, what are the school district? (5) Also, you may want to know what's the reason why their selling? (6)Do you have any offer/s on the table? (7) Are there any issues on the property? (8) What are nearby homes selling for? (9) What renovations were made & when?
What do we bring to an open house?
* Tape measure, pen & pad, camera & your imagination. When taking pictures, take pictures of both what you like & dislike as this will further serve you in the future when you try to put an offer & you've seen a lot of properties & your trying to remember which one you like the most.
What do you look for in an open house?
* The first thing you need to think about is if the price is right about what you are thinking of spending. Then your look at the bigger picture: the neighborhood, the exterior & the interior of the house. Starting with the neighborhood. Drive around the neighborhood at different times of the day. This will give you an idea if you see yourself there. Check the overall condition of the house from the exterior (lawn, roof, peeling paint, cracks). Then moving towards the interior, feel the flow of the house . Does it match your lifestyle? Looking at it like a blank canvass then envision yourself, your family & configure your furniture in the space.
Look at the appliances, flooring, kitchen, bedroom & bathrooms. Can you move right in or you need to do renovations. Look at it with a critical eye. Look at the bones of the house. Don't be distracted by what the sellers/ or agents have inside the house . "Don't buy the sizzle buy the meat". Pay attention as you walk.
Look for telltale signs of damages or poor construction & although you will hire a home inspector while in escrow this will give you an idea if you need to spend more than what you already paid for. Check if the floors are uneven, water stains on roof & wall. Check for things that means to you such as the view as this is something you can never really change about the house. Then if you see yourself in the property it would make sense to schedule a follow up visit to gather more details.
Where can see the list of properties that will be open that week?
* It's usually in the newspaper or available on line.
Should I bring my agent with me?
* If your realtor is available then he/she should go so that he/she can help you gather more information but usually they are also doing open house so it's okay to go by yourself & with the decision maker.