Attending an open house is a great way to learn a great deal about a home in a relatively short amount of time. It allows you to see inside the home with your own eyes, enabling you to notice details that are omitted in photos, whether it’s a noisy neighborhood or a smelly basement.
Aside from learning about the home, an open house is also an opportunity to help real estate agents learn about you. Being prepared and professional at an open house could set you apart from other, more casual, attendees helping you make a good impression.
Since most of us don’t attend open houses on the regular, and since there probably isn’t an Open House Etiquette 101 course you can take at your local college, it can be difficult to know exactly how to prepare for an open house. How should you dress? Should you take notes? Is it rude to take photos? Which questions are welcome and which should be avoided?
In this article, we’ll help demystify the open house, leaving you more prepared to leave a positive impression when you go to see what could potentially be your future home.
How should you dress when attending an open house? An open house is neither a funeral nor a trip to the beach. The realtor showing the house likely isn’t a fashion critic-they’re there to answer your questions.
In most cases, casual clothing is appropriate. Since you’ll be touring the house and yard, however, you might want to avoid heels.
Questions and conversation
An open house is your time to learn all of the relevant facts about a house. Good questions to ask include upgrades to the house, how many offers it has received, and the current owner’s timeline (when they want or need to close by).
There are other topics you’ll want to avoid. Don’t ask too many personal questions about the sellers. It will make the real estate agent, understandably, uncomfortable. Also be sure not to reveal too many details about yourself. You don’t want to mention things like your spending limit as this will remove some of your powers of negotiation.
It’s okay if the furniture and decorations in the home aren’t your taste, but it’s a bad idea to criticize these items as you tour the house, as you may offend the agent or owners who have decorated.
Being respectful of the owner's’ space
Even though the house is for sale, it’s still someone’s home. It’s inadvisable to bring food or drinks without a secure cap into an open house.
We live in a time when everyone photographs and shares everything. But avoid the temptation to take photos when you’re at an open house. Would you want someone going through your home, taking pictures of your valuables, and then sharing them online? Instead, refer back to photos that are available online or from the agent.
When it comes to touring the house, all of the rooms should be viewable. In fact, if there’s a room you can’t enter for any reason this should raise a red flag that something is wrong with the home. However, just because you should look in the closets to get an idea of space doesn’t mean you should touch or go through the personal belongings of the homeowner.
Follow all of the above open house tips and you’ll be sure to leave a good impression.
Getting ready to buy a home is one of the most exciting times in life. The purchase of a home is one of the biggest financial decisions that you will ever make in your lifetime. When you make the decision to buy a home. There are a few key things that you need to do to be prepared for the process of a property purchase. It can be simple if you have the right preparation and knowledge.
Find The Right Realtor
A good realtor will steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding the home of your dreams. Your real estate agent also will help you each step of the way on the road to buying that home. There’s a lot of paperwork that must be done in a timely manner throughout the buying process. The right realtor can even help you to get the offer in for the right home in on time. In a competitive market, having a realtor who is on top of things can mean the difference between purchasing the home you want and letting it fall through the cracks.
Know That You’re Signing A Lot Of Legal Paperwork
The purchase of a home does involve a contract. If you need more time for anything such as reviewing your home inspection or waving certain contingencies, you’ll need to state that. Every piece of the transaction is important and needs to be formally processed when it comes to purchasing a home. Your realtor will be there to help you through all of these complicated processes.
Think Of The Future
When you’re choosing a home, you’re not just buying for your life as it stands right now. Are you hoping to have a big family? Do you need a home office? How much entertaining are you planning on doing? All of these things are important when it comes to the type of home that you’ll buy. If you don’t plan for the future, you’ll outgrow the home that you’re in quite quickly.
Look For Potential
See what potential the homes that you’re looking at have for you. Some homes may have major cosmetic issues that can easily be fixed. Perhaps The walls just need some fresh coast of paint. Maybe the deck needs to be stained. If you go into the house search with an open mind, it will be a lot easier for you to find the right home. You don’t need a home that is absolutely move-in-ready unless of course, you’re building a brand new home from scratch.
Know Your Finances
One of the most important things about buying a home is knowing your finances. Don’t buy a home that you can‘t afford. From looking at your own budget to getting pre-approved, you’ll be able to have a better understanding of your own financial situation and how much house you can afford.
Buying a home is a complicated process with a lot of opportunities to make costly mistakes. There’s no high school class to prepare you for buying a home but there probably should be. If you’re a first time homebuyer and you came across this article looking for advice, congratulations--you’re already doing the most important thing you can when making a big financial decision: the research.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common mistakes that first time homebuyers make when entering the real estate market. We’ll break it down by the three main phases of home-buying: saving for a home, hunting for a home, and signing a mortgage.
Saving for a home
One of the first lessons that all first time homeowners quickly learn is that being able to afford your monthly mortgage payments doesn’t mean you can afford a home. Many first time buyers are often coming from living situations where certain utilities are included (water, heat, electricity, etc.). Aside from those obvious expenses, there are also things like property tax and home insurance to budget for, both of which may increase. Finally, when you’re living in an apartment and your faucet breaks, you simply call the landlord. When you own a home, especially an older home, be prepared to spend on repairs and to start learning basic maintenance skills that will save you money.
The hunt for your first home
Now that you’re aware of the costs, it might be tempting to jump in and start looking at homes. Another common mistake first time homebuyers make is to waste time looking at homes before they’ve met with a real estate agent or have gotten pre-approved for a loan. Start there, then once you know the scope of your home search, you’ll have a much more relaxing hunt for your new home.
Another mistake that first time homebuyers make is to underestimate the time and commitment it takes to find a home. When you work with a real estate agent, make sure you are available at all times. Keep your phone nearby, stick to your schedule for viewing homes, and keep a list of each home you’re considering. Showing initiative and dedication won’t just help you stay organized, it will also show your agent and the home seller that you are worth their time.
One of the most common mistakes that buyers make when it comes to their mortgage is to fail to shop around for a lender. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that only half of all buyers considered more than one lender for their home.
Buyers, first time and repeat, often think their credit report is set in stone. What they don’t realize is that the three main credit Bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) can all make mistakes on your credit. Check your detailed credit reports and fix any errors long before applying for a mortgage to increase your chances of getting a good rate.
If you avoid these common mistakes and continue to do your research along the way, you should be able to save yourself some headaches and some money in the long term.