After hours of research, you've finally found a property you want to see in person. Sure, you're excited by don't let that excitement get in the way of doing your due diligence when you visit a property. By following the below tips, you'll guarantee yourself the best possible experience when going to an open house:
- Before stepping inside, take note of your surroundings. Are the neighboring homes well kept? Is there a lot of noise/traffic on your street? What's the parking situation on your street? You're not just buying a home, you're buying the neighborhood as well.
- Can you afford the home? Your time is very previous and you shouldn't waste it on viewing something you can't afford. Focus on properties you would only consider purchasing.
- Avoid open houses with current owners in the house during your viewing. You have to examine a home very carefully if you're considering purchasing it. Having current owners hovering over you will make it more difficult to ask the tough questions to your agent.
- Ask your agent how long the home has been on the market for. If the home has been on the market for quite some time, you might be able to put in a lower than asking price if the owner is looking to sell quickly.
- Are there repairs needed to the home? If so, this can be factored into the amount you offer. Make sure to ask you agent if the owner has disclosed any ongoing issues the house is facing.
- Use all your senses! Look for mold or any unusual stains in the ceilings/walls. Be aware of any "musty" odors in the air. Pay attention to any squeaks in the floor when you're walking into each room. All these can be signs of issues the house may already have that you'll have to address.
- If you have a growing family, make sure there's enough space for storage in each of the closets. There's no point in buying your dream home if you have no space to store anything.
- Come prepared to take notes/pictures of each room. Chances are you'll be visiting many homes during your search and you may forget important pieces of information such as number of rooms/sizes of each room/areas of concern.
- Find out why the owners are selling. It may be as simple as the family outgrew the home or something more complicated such as noisy/unpleasant neighbors.
- Look past what you see! No matter how well a home is staged or in some cases out of style/poor condition, you must envision how YOU want it to look. Looking at the big picture and keeping an open mind will go a long way in finding the right home for you.
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