As we’re entering the spring market, there’s a lot of new inventory coming up for sale. If you’re thinking about buying a home or maybe even downsizing, people often start is their search by looking online and then going to open houses. If you haven’t selected an agent, you don’t want to bother an agent, you haven’t interviewed an agent, and you just want to see what’s available, there there are some Open House tips that I recommend.
First, just start your search. Look at Zillow. or some of the other popular real estate websites that are out there and see what’s available. There’s a lot of open houses available because it’s just easier sometimes for sellers to leave for a couple hours and let all the buyers come in and view house. Create your list of what open houses you want to go to and prioritize – some may take you a minute because it’s definitely not for you but others may take longer to go through as they are a real possibility.
Second, start evaluating the different towns and neighborhoods so you know what you like and don’t like. You will also get a feel for how many homes are on the coming on the market and just how fast (or slow) they are going into escrow. By touring different areas, you are going to become familiar with the different homes, the different price points, the different tracks, and the different floor plans. That’s pretty important. What do you like? Do you like an open kitchen and family room? What’s important to you in a home?
Then your next step is potentially to do a pros and cons list. What’s really important to you? Do you need the open kitchen and family room? Do you like a bedroom downstairs? What kind of backyard do you like? When you’re going through the open houses, you’re going to start evaluating the differences. How big is the backyard? Does it have a privacy? Does it have a pool? Where is that on my priority list? Look at the kitchen. Am I up for a remodel? Does the kitchen have the kind of appliances I want? What kind of update are the cabinets? Are they slow closing cabinets or was the remodel done 15 years ago before they introduced soft close cabinets? There’s a lot of things that you can look at in a home. Obviously don’t go into the drawers, don’t go into the closets, don’t snoop around. An Open House is more of an overview of the home.
Now let’s say you really like it. Potentially you could talk to the agent. Why is the seller moving? Where’s the seller going? What’s the seller’s timeline? What’s your timeline? The agent is going to know a little bit. Are there any offers in on the house? The agent that’s hosting the open house is going to have some information for you and maybe you’ll like the agent. Maybe you’ll connect with the agent. Maybe this house isn’t for you, but the agent knows of some other pocket listings that might be coming on the market that are similar to this house.
In summary, create your game plan for buying a home. Make your pros and cons list as you go. What do you really like about a house? What do you not like about a house? Watch it. Watch and see how fast homes are going. See what kind of updates you like. See what’s important to you. Meet some real estate agents as you to Open Houses. Talk to the agents. Become familiar. You, as buyers today, have a lot of knowledge and are super savvy. You can get a lot of information online. Open Houses are a great free way for you to start and become familiar with homes, tracks, neighborhoods, price points.
I hope that’s helpful. Enjoy going to Open Houses. We’re seeing a lot this time of year. It’s a great time to go out and take it all in. If you have any questions, you know how to reach me. Talk to you soon!