Now that the summer is in full swing, you'll likely notice quite a few Open House signs throughout the neighbourhood, though these events occur all throughout the year. If buying a house is on your agenda in the near future, you might want to pop by at any one of these open houses and check out what the inventory is like.
Of course, if you're on the hunt for a new home, you've probably already started your search online as most buyers do, but checking out open houses is not only a great way to get an up-close look at homes in the area, it may also be the perfect way to take your first step towards a successful real estate deal.
Here are some recommendations to help you maximize the time spent at an open house and improve your odds of getting the home of your dreams.
Scope Out the Competition
Odds are you won't be the only prospective buyers walking around the home and checking out the space. Pay attention to them: do they give the impression that they're really interested in the home? Do they seem as though they're on the verge of putting in an offer?
If so, you'll have a pretty good idea of how much time you have to mull over the home and decide whether or not to put in an offer before someone else beats you to it.
Establish a Connection With the Listing Agent
Try to be the first person visiting the open house, as this will give you the opportunity to establish some rapport with the listing agent. This will also give you the opportunity to make a positive first impression on the agent, which can be very useful come time to negotiate an offer.
Be Mindful of You Say
Odds are you won't be the only people walking around the home. Not only will the listing agent also be there, so will other potential buyers. Anything you say will likely be overheard by others, so be careful of what comes out of your mouth.
Any negative, snarky remarks you make about the home probably won't leave a good impression on the agent, especially if the criticism is not warranted. Whatever feedback you may have about the house should be reserved until after the open house.
Scope Out the Neighbourhood
You should love the home you plan to buy, but you should also be happy with the neighbourhood too. After all, the neighbours and the surrounding amenities can make a huge difference in how much you enjoy your new abode.
Get a sense of the people who live in the neighbourhood and what they would be like to have to deal with every day. Look around at what types of amenities are offered, such as parks, nearby schools, coffee shops, and others.
Pay attention to how close you may be to things like major roads, new construction, or hydro fields. All these things play an important role in the neighbourhood, and the perceived value of the home itself.
Get a Sense of What the Home Would Be Like if it Was Yours
Make yourself at home during the open house - up to a certain point, of course. Take a seat on the couch, sit at the dining room table, open up drawers and closet doors.
Does it feel like a place you could live in and call home? Could you see yourself and your family starting a new life there? You should at least have a sense of what the home would be like to live in before you put in an offer, and an open house visit is an ideal time to do just that.
If you see a home that you love, you might have very little time to make a decision about whether or not to put in an offer, especially when the market is hot and the inventory is tight. Take full advantage of an open house to get a feel of the home and its surrounding neighbourhood, get connected with the listing agent, and check out the other buyers that you may have to contend with.
And as always, partner up with a seasoned real estate agent who knows a thing or two about the area you plan to buy in to ensure a successful transaction. Contact April anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.