Open houses can be a great way to get a feel for a property that you’re interested in, but itâ€™s important to prepare for them before you dive in. Open houses allow you to walk through the home, take note of its features and ask any questions that you may have. Nearly one-half of U.S. homebuyers attend an open house as part of their home buying process.
Through the course of the pandemic, there was a shift in the way people toured houses. Nowadays you can virtually tour a property as well, which may be a good addition to seeing the home in person. Thereâ€™s nothing like the real thing though, so itâ€™s recommended to always see a property in person before making any decisions.
However, before you attend an open house, there are several things that you should know. Beyond doing your research and getting pre-approved for a mortgage, itâ€™s equally important to have the right person by your side, which is why having an Exclusive Buyerâ€™s Agent is one of the best representatives to bring with you to an open house.
Here are some of the many other considerations before going to an open house.
Steps To Prepare For An Open House
While going to an open house doesnâ€™t necessarily come with any strings attached, itâ€™s easy to get excited about a property you tour. So, itâ€™s best practice to prepare for each open house you attend if the property is something youâ€™re seriously considering. Here are some of the things to do before going to an open house.
Do Your Research
Before attending an open house, it’s important to do your research. This includes researching the neighborhood, the school district, and any nearby amenities. You should also research the property itself, including its history, age, and any recent renovations or repairs that have been made. This will help you to better understand the property and make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you. While open houses can be fun to pop into, itâ€™s better to do some research in advance so that youâ€™ll be prepared for some of the other steps below.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
If you’re serious about buying a home, it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage before attending an open house. This will give you a better idea of your budget and what you can realistically afford. It will also show the seller that you’re serious about buying and may give you an advantage over other potential buyers. Considering your financial situation is probably the most important part of the homebuying process.
Bring Your Exclusive Buyerâ€™s Agent
Bringing your Exclusive Buyer’s Agent (EBA) to an open house can be extremely helpful as theyâ€™re there to represent you. Not only can they provide valuable insights into the property and the neighborhood, but they can also help you to navigate the home-buying process if you find the right home. An EBA can also ask important questions on your behalf and help you to negotiate a fair price because they have your best interests at heart. Itâ€™s easy to forget small details in the excitement of seeing a home you like, so having a person there to remain clearheaded is equally important.
Look Beyond the Decor
When attending an open house, it’s important to look beyond the decor. While the decor may be nice, it’s not a true reflection of the property itself. Instead, focus on the layout, the condition of the property, and any potential issues that may need to be addressed. This will give you a better idea of what it will be like to live in the home and whether or not it’s right for you.
Take Photos and Notes
Taking photos and notes during an open house can be extremely helpful. It will allow you to remember important details about the property and compare it to other properties that you’ve seen. Photos and notes can be reviewed later when youâ€™ve stepped outside the property and possibly forgotten small details. It will help you to make an informed decision about whether or not to make an offer on the property.
Ask Questions & Donâ€™t Rush
During an open house, don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is your opportunity to learn as much as possible about the property and the neighborhood. Itâ€™s a good idea to prepare some questions in advance of a tour. Ask about the age of the property, any recent renovations or repairs, the condition of the roof, and any potential issues that may need to be addressed. This will help you to make an informed decision about whether or not the property is right for you.
Consider The Location
When considering a property, it’s important to think about the location, the neighborhood, your commute, and more location-related factors. Is the neighborhood going to be safe? Will home values increase? How long will it take you to get to work? These are all important factors to consider about a homeâ€™s location. Ask your Exclusive Buyerâ€™s Agent about market factors specific to the area where the home is located, too.
Follow Up With the Real Estate Agent
After attending an open house, it’s important to follow up with the real estate agent. This will show that you’re serious about buying and may give you an advantage over other potential buyers. You can ask any additional questions that you may have and express your interest in the property.
Related Reading – Open House Red Flags: What to Look Out for When Buying a Home
Attending an open house can be a great way to get a feel for a property that you’re interested in. However, it’s important to do your research, get pre-approved for a mortgage, bring your Exclusive Buyerâ€™s Agent, and follow the other steps mentioned above.
Donâ€™t fall in love with a home too quickly and end up with buyerâ€™s remorse. By following these tips, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not a property is right for you. Good luck on your home-buying journey!