As a new buyer, attending open houses is a terrific way to see a large number of houses in the shortest amount of time. Before venturing out, there are a few tips to remember that will help make the most of the experience.
1. Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to engage the open house agent in discussion. The agent WANTS to help you learn more about the home and the market.
2. If you are already working with an agent, let the open house agent know this. As a Realtor myself, it helps me provide feedback to the buyer’s agent. When touring 12 open houses, sometimes it’s hard for buyers to remember what each house had to offer. By letting me know you’re working with someone, I am able to give your agent feedback that you might have forgotten by the end of your whirlwind day.
3. Remember to open closet & cabinet doors! The seller expects you to do so and as a buyer, you need this information. Storage is important! Sure those cherry cabinets are pretty, but do they have enough room for Grandma’s serving platter that you cannot part with?
4. Be open to lower and higher price ranges. If you’re pre-approved to buy a home in the $250,000 range, you’re wasting your time looking at $750,000 properties. But it makes sense to look upward to the $300,000 range as well as down at $175,000. Knowing what you can get above and below your target range will be informative. If you know that for $50,000 less, you would be on a busier street, then you’ll appreciate the older home for $250,000 on a cul-de-sac. Or you might see a home that costs $50,000 more than your target price, but it has a newly renovated kitchen or bath. You still can’t afford it, but if you want to live in that same neighborhood, you might realize you’ll have to settle for a home that needs some renovation. Finally, homes priced higher than your budget can easily get reduced down to your range. And, especially in tight markets, those priced lower could get bid up right into your range.
5. Focus on what you already know. If you’re scouring TuckerOpenHouses.com while drinking your morning coffee, the sheer volume of open houses will probably overwhelm you. Don’t let it. For now, focus on the area where you think you want to buy. If you like a certain part of town, this will give you a chance to know it better. See what you can get for the money there. Don’t get distracted or pulled in all kinds of directions. Start with what you know. It will help you lay the groundwork for a successful house hunt.
If you’re in the Evansville area, feel free to stop by and visit one of my open houses today. I’ll be at 1413 Green Meadow Drive from 12:30-2 and 6609 Lincoln Avenue from 2:30-4. I love meeting readers of my blog!