8 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Attending Durango Open Houses
If you are looking at purchasing a home, whether or not it is your first home or an investment property, a key process of the home buying process is attending open houses in the area you are looking to buy in. Open houses can provide you with an inside scoop on what kind of homes you may find in that area as well as what you can expect to obtain for your money. Keeping an open eye and asking the right questions can glean for you all of the information you need to decide if writing an offer is in your best interests. I’d like to share a few tips with you to guide you through the open house process.
Inquire About the Home’s Price History
Homes on market for long periods of time often have price reductions, the seller’s agent will be able to explain why. Understanding the seller’s motivations for setting their price can help you negotiate the best possible price for a home you are interested in.
Determine the Level of Privacy the Home Offers
Take a look out the windows of the home, does the bedroom window look out into a busy street, does a bathroom window look directly into another home’s window? Do you prefer to have a fenced in yard, are the fences in good condition or are they missing parts? The level of privacy a home offers isn’t universal throughout and is certainly worth taking a closer look at, make sure the home you are interested in has the right amount of privacy for you.
Don’t go Through the Owner’s Belongings
I wish I could say this goes without saying, but many an inquisitive person has riffled through other people’s belongings at open houses, don’t. While the overwhelming majority of people in the world wouldn’t dream of taking home a souvenir from someone’s home, going through other’s personal belongings without permission is considered incredibly disrespectful. Anything that lies behind a closed door should only be viewed with the consent of the real estate agent.
Your Nose Knows
As you look around the home, keep an open nose for any strange or foul smells that may be present. Take a whiff around the attic and basement (if the home has one), the presence of an unpleasant odor could be from a number of sources, one of the largest concerns would be the presence of mold. Another potential red flag is the presence of scented candles or incense, they may be there to create a pleasant atmosphere or they may be there to mask a pervasive odor. Should a smell strike you as strange or unpleasant, ask the real estate agent about it.
Ask About the Home’s Time on Market
There are homes that stay on the market for quite a while before they are sold, there are homes that show up on the market and sell within weeks. Reasons for a home’s longevity on a market are varied, from an offer falling through due to financing to a home being priced outside of the area it is in. Your real estate agent can look up the amount of time a home has been on the market for you, but the seller’s agent (who is hopefully the one hosting the open house) can give you context as to why it has been on the market for as long as it has. Garnering as much information about a home is an important step before you write an offer.
Look at the Home’s Condition
Open houses are presented to demonstrate all the positive aspects of a home, fresh paint and new appliances stand out and impress. Take in all the things that make a home great but you need to be able to look past them as well. Look for anything that can signal structural issues in the home. Look to the floors to see if they are slanted or sagging, cracks in the walls, paint patches on the wall, are the doors easy to open? Keeping an eye out for any potential issue can save you time and hassle in your hunt for a home.
Feel the “Flow” of the Home
Are you able to move from room to room easily, do the rooms feel spacious and open? A home may feel like it flows well to you, but how much of the flow is due to the home’s furnishings? A vast majority of home that you come across don’t include interior furnishings.Try to imagine the home with your belongings in their place, does it flow well then?
How is the Neighborhood?
Peek your head outside of the home, are the neighboring homes in good condition and well kept? When you purchase a home, you’re not just buying the home but also buying into the local neighborhood. While you are at the home, check to see if there is a great deal of traffic passing by that can wake you in the morning, are there parks or public open spaces near for you or your family to utilize? Make sure the neighborhood is a fit for you as well as the home.
Open houses are a great tool to getting a feel for a home and neighborhood, as with all things the usefulness of it comes from how it is utilized. Hopefully these tips can help you get the most out of your time at any open house you go through.
Are you looking to buy a home? Let’s have a chat even if right now isn’t the best time. I have decades of experience in the real estate market and can help you make your plans reality.
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