At Home |News!For Buyers March 19, 2023

How To Attend An Open House As a Home Buyer

Spring time is a Hot time of year in the real estate market and you begin to see more open houses popping up in your area.  Something about the warmer weather and end of the school year will tend to get sellers and buyers creating more activity in the market than any other season. A reason  inventory tends to increase when temperatures rise is because houses show better. From the trees and flowers that are in bloom to the grass that turns green again. Houses look much better in the spring sunlight.

The market can get more competitive in the spring time making it stressful for buyers. If you’re planning to attend an open house, you can be super prepared, and make the right offer if you like the place rather than making an impulse offer.

Here are 5 things to help you attend an open house like a pro:

  1. What to bring (what not to)

First off, make sure you dress in comfortable clothes and wear some walking shoes.  You could be visiting a few homes at a time or be walking up a flight of stairs.  Bring a note book and tape measure to take specific measurements.

Pro open house tip–Leave any pets or unruly kids at home. Also do sign in when you arrive, even if you are working with an agent.  Ask if it is ok to snap pictures as you walk through the house.

2.  What to look for

You’ll want to take a lot of notes; making sure you jot down anything that strikes you (both positively and negatively). If you work from home or have hobbies that require a dedicated space, be sure to look for any areas that can accommodate.  As you see multiple houses, they will begin to blend together, you’ll want to look back at your notes to remember what you liked. Determine if its a good investment and it matches your needs.

3.   What to ask about

If you have any pressing questions about the property, now’s the time to ask. For example, you may want to know more about schools in the area or nearby parks and recreational facilities.

“Ask why the homeowner is selling the home”, to help you determine whether they’re serious about selling or just testing the market. It’s also smart to inquire about the air conditioning or heating system and roof, too: If they are originals, you have to be prepared to potentially replace them or move on to another property.

4.   Create a checklist

Have a handy checklist of items to examine during your open house visit. Bring it with you and check things off the list as you make your way through the home, so you don’t forget anything essential.

  • Appliances: Are they in good condition?
  • Cabinets: Is there sufficient cabinet space in the kitchen and bathrooms? Pay special attention to cabinets under sinks, as water stains or mold could indicate plumbing issues.
  • Ceilings: Look for signs of water damage.
  • Electrical outlets: Are there enough of them, and are they conveniently located?
  • Flooring: Be on the lookout for warped floorboards, cracked tiles, etc.
  • Landscaping: Landscaping can be expensive. Is the yard in good shape?
  • Light switches: Flip them to make sure they all work.
  • Outbuildings: Don’t forget to check out any structures outside of the main house, like a shed or garage.
  • Room size: Is each room big enough to accommodate the furniture you envision there?
  • Storage space: Are there enough closets to store all your belongings? And are they conveniently placed?
  • Windows: What direction do the windows face? Is the view one that you’ll enjoy, and does it allow enough sunlight to come in?

5.   Navigate an Open House like a Professional

Today’s market conditions pose challenges for homebuyers, but all hope is not lost. Navigating an open house like a professional, and being prepared to submit an offer quickly if you love it, can give you an advantage over other home shoppers.