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6 Steps to Making the Most Out of an Open House Visit.

open-house-778_1280Open houses have been a foundational part of the home selling process for decades, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. While open houses can help home sellers get their home seen by more people, they also offer some real benefits to home buyers. Are you making the most of your open house opportunities?

We’ve put together some of the best ways for you to use open houses to help you become a better home buyer and to help you find your perfect house.

Use open houses to learn more about the market.

Open houses offer a unique opportunity for you to take a look around someone else’s house without any commitment. Even if you aren’t ready to work with a real estate agent, open houses can help you get a feel for market pricing and availability. With the technology available to home searchers today, from apps and online search tools to immediate email notifications, home shoppers today have access to information that was only available to agents a decade or two ago. But it’s still hard to get a real feel for the market without actually going and looking at houses. Open houses give you a chance to do that.

binoculars photoWatch the other buyers.

You can get a quick feel for the house by looking at how other people are reacting. If you see several people quickly walk in and walk back out, that’s a sign that the house might have some issues, but if you see agents huddled with prospective buyers or people asking a lot of questions, then this house might be “hot” and worth a close look.

You don’t have to talk to anyone.

The biggest fear some people have at an open house is a pushy sales person. They’re afraid that someone will start calling them every day or spend the next two weeks trying to talk them into a house they don’t really want. While pushy agents do exist, you’re under no obligation to give anyone at an open house your contact information.

Keep in mind that the listing agent does have a responsibility to the homeowner to keep an eye on the house and watch who is coming and who is going. So, politely greet the agent, and don’t be afraid to express interest in the house or to ask questions, but there’s no need to be afraid of an overly aggressive sale. Just politely decline to sign in or provide your contact information and continue on your way.

question photoAsk the agent questions.

The listing agent is present at an open house for a reason. They’re your direct line to the seller. There’s a good chance that he knows more about the property than anyone else, and they’re glad to provide that information to you. You can always use your own agent to funnel questions to the seller, but if the listing agent is standing there, then this is your opportunity to ask them directly. Ask about the neighborhood, the seller’s reasons for selling, how long it’s been on the market, or even if there have been a lot of showings. A good agent will be happy to engage with you because it’s also good for the seller.

Interview a potential agent.

It’s generally understood that a good agent is really playing two roles at an open house. They are there to help sell the house, but they’re also on the lookout for future clients. And if you’re still looking for an agent, that’s good news for you.

Try walking into a doctor’s office or an accountant’s office and ask them about the rash they’re treating or the tax return they’re filling out and you probably won’t get a great response, but at an open house you can interview an agent while they’re helping a client and decide if you want them working for you.

Just by asking a few questions or striking up a conversation about real estate, you can start to get a feel for whether or not this is an agent you can work with.

Make the open house for you, the buyer.

Open houses have been around for decades, and it’s easy to see how they help sellers, but with a little forethought and armed with the right expectations, they can really help a home buyer too. For a new buyer they can provide some critical background and experience in the housing market, as well as an introduction to their new agent. For the more experienced home buyer, they can still be a great way to get a second or third look at a house without the pressure of your agent waiting for you.

Take full advantage of the open house by asking plenty of questions and learning all you can about the listing.

Find the open house.

map photoYou can find McInturf Realty’s open house listings here. New open houses are automatically listed there when they’re planned. You can also use McInturf Realty’s advanced search features to search for open houses from any real estate agent in the area. Whatever stage you’re at in the home buying process, McInturf Realty’s here to help.



Photo by chase_elliott

Photo by Tsahi Levent-Levi

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1110 Tuscarawas Avenue NW

New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

Phone: (330) 364-6648

Fax: (330) 364-2355