Sometimes, a necessary part of the home buying process is attending a few open houses. These are great opportunities to see a home without the pressure of scheduling a viewing. For first-time homebuyers, open houses are a great way to see what other homebuyers are looking at and speak to a real estate agent without making a huge commitment.
Here are a few tips and tricks of things you can expect and ways you can prepare should you go to an open house:
Make the Most Out of the Day
One of the best ways how to prepare for an open house as a buyer is by researching the neighborhood and finding more open houses happening on the same day. That way, you can make the most of the afternoon and see as many properties as possible.
Although an open house isn't an opportunity to showcase your sartorial taste and wealth, you should still consider dressing appropriately. You will most likely be walking in and out of homes, up and down stairs, and, perhaps touring yards or gardens as well. Wear an outfit that is comfortable, presentable, clean, and easy to move in.
Before Snapping Photos, Ask
Taking pictures during an open house is helpful for buyers, especially when they are viewing multiple properties in one day. However, you must remember that this property still belongs to someone else. 99.9 percent of the time, the homeowner will agree pictures being taken, but it's still always best to ask first.
Keep Negative Thoughts To Yourself
Nothing is worse than going to an open house with someone who is hypercritical and vocal about all the issues they notice in the home. Make a mental list of criticisms, pros, and cons to discuss them in the car ride home or with your agent when you talk to them next. It's all about being courteous and respectful to the current owners.
Listen to Others
Although you know to keep your opinions to yourself, it's also a good idea to listen to what other buyers at the open house are saying. They may have thought of something you have not yet considered or they may have some additional insight on the home that you didn't know. They are still your competition, but sometimes getting another perspective is always helpful.
If you happen to see neighbors on the street, give them a friendly greeting and pick their brain to find out what they love about the neighborhood. If you do adore the home and things play out the way you hope they do, they could actually be your neighbors in just a few weeks.
Don't Get Too Comfy
Open houses from time to time are filled with staging furniture, which is often less sturdy and simply designed for show rather than comfort. Before sitting on a couch or chair, make sure the furniture is actually designed to hold weight. Additionally, although this is an open house, it's important to still conduct yourself like a guest.
Open House Etiquette: Dos & Don'ts
The day of an open house can be an exciting one for you as a buyer. However, there are some unspoken rules that you should follow in order to make the experience productive and satisfying.
Do get the contact information for the seller's real estate agent, if you're interested in buying the house.
Don't bring any pets to the open house. Your pets may not be welcome and could leave allergens in the air, which could cause problems for the seller and other buyers.
Do write down your first impressions, if you're looking at many houses and are concerned that you won't be able to remember the details of this particular property.
Don't touch the personal belongings of the seller.
Do feel free to look in the back yard, but ask the real estate professional before opening doors that have been left shut.
Don't hesitate to ask questions about the age and condition of the house, but take everything with a grain of salt. If you decide to buy the home, get a home inspection to ensure the home is in good condition.
Do explore the neighborhood if you're thinking about buying the property. Note the condition of the surrounding properties, as this can tell you a lot about what it's like to live in that neighborhood.
For more tips and tricks for getting through your first open house, call the Colorado Springs military home relocation experts at 719-373-1906.
Lauren Schneider, Real Estate Agent and Military Relocation Professional (MRP)
Lauren Schneider has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years and knows that the military is what keeps this town ticking, which is one of the reasons she's chosen to pursue her dream of helping military families with all of their homebuying needs. Learn more about Lauren or start your home search now.