Many people attend open houses for various reasons. Some do it as a sport. Some do it for decorating ideas. First-time buyers may just want to get the feel of looking for a home.
Open House Attendees Without a Realtor
Some first time home buyers do not have a clue on how to buy a home. They may start on their own by simply attending open houses. Some realtors try to capitalize on these potential buyers. During an open house, realtors will strike conversations with those that attend. They are hoping to increase their business. A good realtor knows how to sell themselves and their skills.
However, many people that attend open houses are visitors and not buyers. They may feel once the open house sign goes up, they have free reign to come and go.
Open House Etiquette
When attending an open house, you have to remember; it is someone’s home. A good first impression is set when following proper open house etiquette. The selling broker can influence the sellers on possible purchasers.
- When first entering an open house always greet the broker.
- Look and read signs that are present. You may be prompted to remove your footwear, etc.
- The broker will take the lead and either tell you to look around or give you a guided tour. If you have already hired an agent, let the broker know right away. The broker will cease soliciting your business as an agent.
- Never snoop through the homeowner’s personal belongings.
- Avoid making any negative comments regarding the home or homeowner. However, mentioning problem areas to the agent is fine.
- Upon leaving, thank the agent and sign the visitor’s sheet if there is one.
Things You Can Learn About The Listing Agent
Some potential buyers or sellers may attend open houses looking for an agent. This is a great way to see first hand how an agent conducts themselves. If you are selling, you can see how the house is staged.
Watching the agent for professionalism can be important to many.
- See if they are friendly, proactive and welcoming.
- Are they experienced? You may get the sense they are new or seasoned agents. Do you feel comfortable with them? It is very important that you choose an agent in which you can establish a good working relationship with.
- Is this their own listing? Agents that host their own listings care about their clients. If it is not their listing, you should walk away. A broker that takes care of their clients is one you should be looking for. A caring, committed agent will host their own open houses.
- Find out if the agent has multiple listings in the same area. This will give you an idea of how well they know the community.
- See if the agent asks you questions about what you are looking for. This will give you an idea to see if they are truly interested in your likes and dislikes.
Make sure you hire a broker that does more listening than talking. To better learn about your needs, much listening is required. A good listener is one that can offer the best advice.
Always test their knowledge of the market. The neighbourhood statistics will present the current market in that area.
Its best to trust your intuition on the agent you select. If there is a hint that something is not right or off, walk away.
On the Hunt Without a Realtor
Looking for a property via open houses without a realtor is a primary start. You can research many open house listings you would like to attend. However, when it comes down to it, hiring a buying agent is important.
The buying agent will help to navigate through the entire buying process. Realtors are experts in this field. They often have many connections with mortgage specialists. They can assist when trying to purchase a home that is part of an estate.
There are many legalities that can be involved. Hiring an expert can alleviate problems that may arise along the way. Some issues can be avoided or easily resolved, with proper advice.
What Buyers Should Look For at Open Houses
Aside from beautifully decorated and laid out homes, there are several important things to look for.
- You should always do a quick major systems check. You can check the age of the furnace, electrical panel, roof and, windows.
- Electrical Outlets will give you an idea of the wiring age. The number of electrical outlets is important. Older homes have much fewer and ungrounded outlets. Look for multiple outlets in each room. Ensure they are three-pronged outlets as opposed to two prongs. Many lights and small appliances now have three prongs.
- Make sure the floors are level. Some home sellers tend to prop open doors with items. It is a good idea to remove the item and see if the door stays open on its own. Unlevel floors can indicate there may be a problem with the foundation.
- You can check adequate attic ventilation from the exterior of the home. An appropriate number of vents can reduce humidity levels. This will prevent roofing plywood sheets from rotting. Replacing plywood when redoing a roof can add 40-50% more to the cost.
- If the home has a fireplace, the condition of the chimney is very important. An original clay lined chimney erodes over time. This could make the chimney unsafe and be very expensive to replace.
- Always ensure there are enough heating vents on each floor. The type of heating system that is in place can vary in annual cost to heat the home. Some people have preferences to specific heating systems.
Attending an open house with or without an agent can result in a purchase and sale of a home. However, the benefits a realtor can provide to their clients are many. Remember that purchasing a home is one of the largest investments you will ever make. Making the right choice can have a major impact down the road. Choosing the right Realtor can help to protect your investment. Realtors have many areas of expertise they can provide you with.