Open houses are a good way to get experience in the home buying process to better understand what you like and don’t like in a home. It’s also a great way to gather insight into a property directly from the agent representing the listing. The quality of information you get is in direct correlation to the quality of question asked.
When at an open house, try asking the host agent these things:
What’s the neighborhood like? An experienced agent should be able to talk or show you what the market activity has recently been through similar home sales or listings. Listen carefully to this information as it’ll provide insight on comparable properties in the area. They should also know local knowledge like what the schools are like, local farmers markets, activities, parks, etc. See if this aligns with the culture and lifestyle you’re looking for in your neighborhood.
Why are the sellers moving and where are they going next? What you’re trying to uncover is to better understand the motivation level of the seller and what their unique situation is. Are they in a time crunch or another situation that has them looking to sell quickly? This will give you indications on how to craft the perfect offer to meet their timelines and needs.
Have there been any recent improvements? If the agent says yes, check out the upgrades that have been made. The type and style of upgrade can say a lot about a seller and their personality. Ask who did the work, or if you’re familiar with construction, take a look at the quality of craftsmanship to see if they paid top dollar for a professional or if it was a DIY project; because if they cut corners on upgrades, likely corners have been cut in other places on the property as well.
What else should I know about this property? Ask this question and then let the agent respond. Often you’ll get extra bits of valuable information that you wouldn’t have otherwise known from walking the home or reviewing the listing.
When putting together a strategy to successfully purchase a home, gathering as much information as possible is key, because it will determine how you put your offer together and position it for acceptance. Like anything else, knowledge is power, so get in the habit of asking good questions to agents hosting open houses.
If you want more information, or if I can help find your next home, please call me: Ryan Kristin, 503-729-8384.