If you’re looking to buy a home — especially if you are a novice buyer or unsure of what you’re looking for — open houses can be a great starting point. Agents typically go out of their way to create a welcoming environment where you can look around, ask questions and get a feel for a home that might eventually become yours! To make the most of the experience, here are 5 helpful tips for attending your first open house.
Seriously. Don’t be afraid to ask the hosting agent lots of questions — that’s why he or she is there! Agents enjoy chatting with the visitors and sharing useful information about the house. It’s the agent’s job to make you feel both comfortable and informed, so if you are wondering about anything, ask away. Also, if this particular house doesn’t suit your needs, feel free to ask the agent about any other listings in the area.
Watch the other visitors.
If you’re new to home buying and aren’t sure whether a house is a good value for the money, watch how other visitors to the open house are responding. If they are hanging out, asking questions and showing interest, chances are you’re looking at a home that’s worth your time. If, however, they are “in and out” and showing little interest, they may be seeing something that isn’t yet apparent to you.
Respect that it’s someone’s home.
While some open houses are new builds or vacant, many are still being lived in. (You’ll generally be able to tell; if not, ask). If the home is still occupied, show proper respect for space. Don’t sit on the furniture or use the bathroom without asking the agent first. Also, ask permission before taking pictures. If you have a genuine interest in the home, you can certainly look in closets to get a sense of available space, but don’t give in to the temptation to rummage through the owner’s things. Finally, if you don’t like the home or the décor for some reason, skip the criticism – at least until after you’re off the premises.
Catch Multiple Open Houses in One Day.
With a bit of advance planning, you can make an afternoon of open house viewing. It’s always a good idea to tour several homes, especially if you’re still formulating ideas about what kind of home you want, or if you want to get a feel for different neighborhoods.
Be ready to make an offer.
Open houses have a tendency to sell, especially in a busy market like Charlotte’s. It’s okay if you’re still getting a feel for what’s out there. However, if you’re pre-qualified and in the market for a home, you don’t want to waste a lot of time when you find an open house you really like, because chances are other like it, too. It’s not uncommon for an agent to receive several offers after an open house. If it’s the right house for you, and if the price is right, make your offer as soon as possible to increase your chances of getting in.
Dickens Mitchener is committed to helping you find your dream home in Charlotte. For information on our current listings or upcoming open houses, give us a call today at (704) 661-2402.