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Making the Most of Open Houses

When you're ready to buy, here's what you should know.
Posted: December 05, 2019 by Anna Jotham

When you're ready to buy, here's what you should know

When it's time to buy a house, attending open houses is an important part of the process. Open houses have a lot to offer as part of the complex homebuying process. They enable you to familiarize yourself with neighborhoods. They can help you refine your list of needs and wants. They can clarify expectations on pricing, features and inventory on the market.

It's all about gathering the information you need to make the best choice for you and your loved ones. But at the same time, open houses can be daunting, even overwhelming. How can you make the most of your time at open houses? Here are our tips.



Even if you're early in the process, it may be worth it

Don't rule out open houses, even if it's early in your homebuying process. You can learn so much about the market simply by going to a few open houses before you're ready to put in a bid on a property. As a bonus, if you haven't yet found the right agent for you, an open house gives you the chance to meet agents and see them at work. Who knows? You just might find the right agent for you.


Do some research beforehand

Unless you're just dropping in on an open house, take a few minutes to do some research about the home you'll be looking at. Pay attention to any red flags, or aspects of the home that rule it out for you. Check out the characteristics of neighborhood, the schools if applicable, and any other relevant information. Glance over information posted online about the history of the home. Through this research, you may determine that the open house would be a waste of time for you.


Prepare to stay a while

There's no need to rush through an open house. Take your time. Get a feel for the place. Chat with other visitors, some of whom may be neighbors who are curious about the home themselves. Ask loads of questions and take note of anything that sticks out for you — potential problems or concerns, or perhaps signs of neglect, for example. If you spend a half hour in the property, you should get a clearer picture of it.


Measure it up

If you're seriously considering a property, you'll probably need some measurements, and you'll want to capture some photos or video. So bring a notebook and pen, a measuring tape and your cell phone and/or camera. Document the important aspects of the property so that you can gain a full understanding of whether it will work for you.


Consider signing in

Chances are there will be a sign-in form. It's not a requirement that you sign in, so if you'd rather not, simply thank the listing agent and politely decline. If you don't mind being on the list, you may be able to retain some of your privacy by not listing a phone number or email.

Remember who’s hosting

While the agent may seem very friendly and helpful, keep in mind that they may be obligated to look out for the seller’s interests before yours. It’s important to keep this in mind before talking terms or preparing an offer. 

Open houses: an exciting part of the home buying process

With the technology available today, it could be easy to shrug off open houses. After all, you can see photos and videos of properties online and learn all about them while sitting in your pajamas. But there's nothing like experiencing a property in person to break or seal the deal for you. You'll likely achieve clarity in what you're looking for and the price you can expect to pay simply by taking advantage of open houses and making the most of the experience. Happy house hunting!

You may also like:

La Crosse Homes for Sale | Onalaska Homes for Sale | Black River Falls Homes for Sale | Tomah Homes for Sale Rochester Homes for Sale  | Winona Homes for Sale

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