Advice for Attending an Open House

We’re sharing some tips for attending open houses this weekend, and what to look for when you show up!

First of all, if you find yourself overwhelmed when you’re drinking your Saturday morning coffee and perusing Zillow or Realtor.com , take a step back and start small. There are likely going to be tons of open houses going on, but start with an area that you know you’re interested in. Going to 3 or 4 open houses in that same area will allow you to become more familiar and comfortable with the area and decide if you’re still interested.

The second recommended tip may take a bit of patience as did the last: be open minded to looking at houses that may be above and below your price range. By doing this, it will allow you to see what you are either gaining or missing out on within your budget. Similarly, this will help you come to terms with what you’re comfortable giving up and what is a must have for you. You may find that the newly renovated houses in your dream neighborhood are above your budget, so is it worth considering buying cheaper and looking into renovating yourself?

This tip especially applies if you feel as though you are new to the open house process: watch other viewers at an open house. Frequently, there are experienced individuals who know almost instantaneously whether or not a home is worth it and in good condition. If you see a great deal of people walking in and then leaving rather quickly, that’s a red flag. And on the other hand, if you see a lot of people asking the realtor numerous questions, it may be newly listed and undervalued.

Lastly, and most importantly, always know the days on market before going to the open house for a listing. The Days on Market (or DOM) will tell you how long a listing has been on the market, and that information can then tell you just how well it has been doing in the marketplace. For instance, say it’s been listed for three months or so at the same asking price, then they may be willing to accept a lower bid or at least negotiate.

When it comes down to it, trust your instincts and don’t be scared to ask questions, as that’s what open houses are for. Happy hunting and enjoy your weekend!