For buyers: Take the most of an open house!
May 10, 2022
Buying a home can be cumbersome if you've never done it before, so it's normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. However, there is an exciting feeling as well when you explore all the possibilities the market has to offer you.
When you start this process, it is usual to attend open houses to take a deeper look in the properties and the neighborhood. Usually, open houses are staged to look like a home decor dream, but you must focus on the real reason you're there: to potentially buy a home. Make sure you can look past the furniture and think about whether the house would be a good fit for you and your family, and take advantage of the benefits this space can bring. Here we relate a few of them:
You can ask any buyer out there, an open house gives buyers an opportunity to browse through a prospective home in a stress-free environment. Potential buyers do not have to feel much pressure about interacting with a listing agent at an open house. Typically, buyers can wander through the available homes at their leisure. Another reason that open houses are stress-free for buyers is that they do not have to worry about scheduling an appointment. Instead, they have an hours-long window to view a home at their leisure.
Open houses benefit buyers because they are able to leisurely look around neighborhoods they may be interested in. Even if they are not 100% interested in the home they're touring, they can spend some time in a neighborhood they know they're attracted to. They can see the types of home and neighbors, so they have a better idea of what life there could be like. In addition, touring through a home in an area they are interested in can show buyers certain features they would like (and would not like) in a prospective home.
Open houses give buyers an awesome opportunity to connect with a realtor that could be perfect for them. Many buyers come to open houses without the representation of a real estate agent, because they simply do not have one. If they have a good connection with a home's listing agent, they may just find the partnership (and home) they're looking for!
To make the most of this time, you should have a checklist with the most important things for you taking into account your family routine or preferences. Here we can suggest some of the things that buyers usually miss at first glance.
Windows – Look specifically if they are facing the right direction to let sunlight in, and whether they open to a nice view (versus directly toward another neighbor's window).
Under the sink cabinets – Check for possible signs of water damage due to leaking plumbing.
Electrical outlets – Make sure there are enough outlets for the appliances and other electronics you'll be using. If not, you can decide if that's a renovation you'd like to make.
Storage space – Don't just look to see if there's enough closet space, but look for closet placement. Also check that the storage is in a convenient location.
Appliances – If they're included in the house, make sure they're in good condition. They should be on and working while you're there.
Under the rugs – Lift any rugs to check the condition of the floor underneath. You would hate to find an amazing house and not realize there are strategically placed area rugs covering up damaged floors.
Water Spouts – Runoff from the gutters should be pointed away from the house.
Even if the preview list is not extensive, it provides a good starting point. Finally, we've put together three common mistakes first-time home buyers make. Take notes from them, and your home buying experience will be easier.
Looking for a home before the loan: Once you decide that it's time to buy a home, get pre-approved for a loan. Knowing your budget, and that you are a qualified buyer before you begin your search, may make the process easier and more efficient.
Not hiring professionals: Moving isn't as simple as packing up your stuff and renting a van. You must have someone to guide you about the market dynamic, prices and procedures.
Having too many requirements: There's nothing wrong with knowing what you want when it comes to buying a home. But if your "must-have" list gets too long and too specific, you may end up looking for your perfect house for a very long time.
So whether you're just starting to think about buying your first home, or you've already spent some time looking, with Cross Country, we can help you not just visit open houses, but guide you in the whole process to get your perfect home. Contact us and request information at 800.CCR.3606