Open House Visit Guide For Every Home Buyer

Posted by Staff Reporter (media@realtytoday.com) on Jul 22, 2015 08:20 AM EDT
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ARK RIDGE, IL - JUNE 13: ReMax realtor Keith Reboletti removes an 'Open House' sign after showing the home to other realtors during a realtor's open house showing June 13, 2005 in Park Ridge, Illinois. Unusually low mortgage rates of late have caused a recent boom in the housing market. (Photo : Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Open houses are an integral part of real estate. It is a practice that has been around for years and will stay as the gold standard for home selling and buying in the years to come. But as a home buyer, are you making the most of this opportunity?

Zillow enumerates some of the best practices during an open house regardless which part of the buying spectrum you belong:

Use the open house to learn the market before committing

There are plenty of opportunities that buyers can take advantage of in an open house. It is when buyers and even the non-serious ones could see a property without an appointment. It is also a great time for new buyers to get a feel of the market and determine pricing before they commit to an agent. 

You don't have to sign in (but don't be rude)

While it's common for some agents to be all over a buyer during an open house and try to get information so they could be at their back for the next three weeks, it's still common courtesy to say hello and recognize the agent whenever you go to one. If you do not want to sign in, decline but do it in a polite manner.

For active buyers, it is wise to let yourself known to the seller's agent as well give them your agent's information. Agents want to put a face to a name when they review offers and introducing yourself early on will be of your advantage.

Watch the other buyers

You can tell if the house is a well-priced or a "hot" listing by observing other buyers' behavior during an open house. Are people walking in and out quickly? It could hint that there are some issues with the house like being overpriced. But, are buyers hanging around and asking the agents question? Do you see spouses huddling in the corner? Then maybe this house has potentials. If you are interested with the property, this is also a perfect time to observe your "competition" and plot a game plan.

Ask the agent questions

It's the agent's job to share as much information about the property to prospected buyers to help them decide whether this is the property for them. So, when you go to an open house, ask away and learn as much about the house. If it is a competitive market, you can ask "Why is the seller selling?" "Is there a certain day to review offers or have you had a lot of showings?" While in a slow market, it would be wise to ask how long the property has been on the market and the seller's reason for selling.

Be open to meeting your future agent

An open house is the perfect venue for meeting real estate agents and establishing a possible future buyer/seller/real estate relationship.

Talk to agents in an open house so you get a feel of their personality and find out if they have the qualities of an agent that you can work with. Ask questions like "How's the market?" and "What areas do you cover?" as these open-ended questions could help you determine an agent's knowledge of the market as well as their ability to deal with people.

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