Open House Tips

In honor of the upcoming weekend, we’re sharing some tips for open houses and what to look for when you show up.

First of all, if you find yourself overwhelmed on Zillow or when drinking your Saturday morning coffee, take a step back and start small. During the summer it’s possible that there are going to be tons of open houses going on, so start with an area that you know you’re interested in. Go to 3 or 4 open houses in that same area and get a feel for it. This will help you to become more familiar with the neighborhood, while also deciding if it's an area that you like. In doing this, you can get an all encompassing feel and decide whether or not you’d like to pursue finding a home there.

Secondly, this may take a bit of patience as did the last step, but be open to looking at houses that are above and below your price range. This will allow you to see what you are either gaining or missing out on within your budget. Similarly, this may help you recognize what you’re comfortable giving up and what is an absolute must for you. You may find that the newly renovated houses in your dream neighborhood are above your budget, so is it worth considering buying cheaper and looking into renovating yourself?

Maybe one of the most important tips is to watch other people at an open house. You may be new to this, but frequently there are people there who are regulars, and those people typically know instantaneously whether or not a home is worth it and in good condition. If you see a great deal of people walking in and out pretty quickly, that’s a red flag. On the other hand, if you see a lot of people asking the realtor a ton of questions, it may be newly listed and undervalued.

Lastly, always know the days on market before going to the open house for a listing. The days on market (or DOM) will tell you how long a listing has been on the market, and that information will tell you how well it is doing in the marketplace. If it’s been listed for three months or so at the same asking price, they may be willing to accept a lower bid.

All in all, trust your instincts and don’t be scared to ask questions. That’s what open houses are for. Happy hunting and enjoy your weekend!