Welcome to San Diego Blog | June 22, 2018
How Home Buyers Can Make The Most Out Of Open Houses
Looking for the right home can be overwhelming at times. However, there’s some steps you can take to be better prepared when deciding to start the home buying journey. One action that can really make a difference is attending open houses early in the process. Below you can read 3 reasons why I think open houses can be beneficial for potential home buyers.
Reason #1-Get a better feel for the market without commitment
Prospective buyers can freely go to any open house they choose. This allows you to compare different homes in an area of interest at your own pace without feeling like you’re wasting anyones time. Going from open house to open house helps you learn about the community, the neighbors, schools, parks and attractions nearby. You can take advantage and ask the agent hosting the open house all the questions you would like without any commitment. Realtors holding open houses have great information they can share about the particular home they’re hosting and the surrounding area. Here are some questions I would recommend you ask when you tour an open house you like:
- How many bedrooms, baths and square footage?
- What is the price?
- Is there an HOA fee? How about Melloo-Roos? How much are they per month?
- What are the details on the most recent sale comparable to this home?
- What is the average price for this type of property in this neighborhood?
- What is the average days on market for this type of property in this neighborhood?
- How many days has this property been on the market?
This questions should give you a good understanding of what to expect if you decide on a specific type of home in a specific neighborhood.Use the realtor as a resource for your search. They are the market experts, afterall.
Reason #2-Good opportunity to interview multiple agents
Open houses are the best way to interview agents. You don’t even have to tell them you’re interviewing them. Simply ask them questions and see if you like how they respond. The seven questions on the previous paragraph should give you a good idea about how knowledgeable or resourceful that agent is. This is much more comfortable than a formal interview and you won’t have to deal with the awkward follow up conversation if you choose to not work with them. Most agents will ask you to sign in, but you don’t really have to, just don’t be rude. If you sign in because you were interested in possibly working with them, treat their follow up call as a second interview. If they follow up in a timely manner then you know they take their job seriously and are professional. If they take a long time to call or don’t call at all, then you know it probably would not have been a good fit. One thing I will advise when interviewing agents at open houses is to be careful about choosing to work with the listing agent to represent you as a buyer for the same home he’s trying to sell. I feel this creates a conflict of interest and might not end up working out in your best interest. At times, listing agents will have another realtor help them with the open house to avoid this exact scenario and focus on just selling the home.
Reason #3-Inside scoop from listing agent and neighbors
If you see a home come on the market that you like and then find out they will have an open house during the weekend, I recommend you book a private tour as soon as possible so you can have a first look, take notes and then follow up with your agent at the open house to see what he/she can find out from the listing agent regarding your observations. Also, neighbors love to stop by open houses and see how the seller’s were living or what changes they made. Take advantage of this and talk to them. Ask them if they know anything special about the house or if there is anything you should know about the neighborhood. Neighbors can be a good source of information, so you should use them to your advantage while you can.
Open houses can better prepare you to navigate the different stages of buying a home by keeping you informed about the market, helping you find the right agent to work with and learning information that will give you some peace of mind. Looking at houses is one of the most enjoyable parts of the whole process. Take your time to go out and look at houses, talk about what you like and don’t like, but more than anything have fun while doing it!