An open house is a great, low-pressure way to get a look not only at houses you might want to purchase, but also to familiarize yourself with homes in the area where you would like to buy. Attending an open house can give you a list of things that you do or do not want to look for in future homes, so when you start looking at specific properties with a realtor, you have a better idea of what to expect. Here are some tips for getting the most out of an open house:
Use this time to set realistic expectations for a neighborhood. An open house is a great time to look at what kind of features and square footages you are looking at for each price range in a neighborhood. While some realtors will encourage their sellers to set the price of a home above market value, looking at the price and then looking at the home itself is a great way to see what you can expect to pay for homes of that size and with those features.
Start making a list of priorities. You might not have even realized that you wanted a walk-in closet until you see how amazing they are at the open house. You might have written off the need for a separate dining room, but seeing the layout of a home that actually has one might change your mind. It might also change your mind about whether or not you need things like hall closets, mud rooms, laundry rooms, etc. While you already know what you like and dislike about the homes you have lived in before, there are plenty of other features you have never considered. Open houses are a great opportunity to see what those features are.
Take time to talk to the agents. There will likely be agents from several different offices present at the open house. Take the time to talk to these agents. This is a great time, if you haven’t yet picked an agent to work with, to get a sense of the different agencies in your area and which might be right for you.
An open house is an opportunity to get to know an area and the parties involved in showing houses in that area—make the most of them!