5 tips for making the most out of Open House season
Open houses can be an excellent way for prospective homebuyers to get a feel for a property before making an offer. However, a few mistakes can be made during the open house that can harm your chances of getting the home you want.
Here are some of the ways you can prep to make attending open houses super successful:
1 – Do your research beforehand!
To get the most out of an open house visit, it's recommended that you do some research on the property, neighborhood and local real estate market before you go. This can give you a leg up as a potential homebuyer because you'll make more informed decisions and figure out what to expect during your home search.
By checking out the available properties in your desired neighborhood, the prices of homes in the area and the current market trends, you can get a good idea of what you can afford and what features you should look for in a home. And that can also save you time, money and stress.
Doing your own research can also help you spot potential issues with a property that might not be obvious during a 15-minute walk-through — like nearby traffic noise or a history of flooding or structural problems. Knowing about these things beforehand can help you avoid making costly mistakes.
Another benefit of researching before attending open houses is that it can help you find a trustworthy real estate agent who can guide you through the homebuying process. They can give you helpful tips and advice on the local real estate market and even help you negotiate a fair price for your dream home.
2 – Have your finances in order!
It's super important to get your finances sorted before checking out open houses. This means figuring out your budget and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. By having your finances in order, you'll be able to get real about what you can afford and avoid wasting time on properties outside your budget. Getting a pre-approval for a home loan can help determine how much you can borrow based on factors like your credit score and income and help narrow down your search to affordable options.
A financial plan also makes homebuyers more attractive to sellers, who are more willing to negotiate with those who have their finances sorted. Plus, it gives you, the buyer, the competitive advantage of moving fast in a market where homes sell in a flash. With pre-approved financing, you'll be ready to make a confident offer and stand a better chance of securing your dream home.
Getting all this money stuff sorted before you start house hunting can save you a lot of stress and hassle, not to mention helping you avoid delays and surprises during the closing process. It's a smart move that can help make homebuying smoother and increase the chances of finding the perfect home.
3 – Be prepared to make an offer!
To increase your chances of snagging your dream home at an open house, it's crucial to come prepared with everything you need to make an offer. In today's hot real estate market, homes can sell like hotcakes, often with multiple offers within a short timeframe. So, if you're serious about buying a home, you need to be ready to pounce when you find one you love and makes sense for where you are in your life. This means knowing exactly what you're willing to pay and what terms you'll accept before you even set foot in the door.
Being prepared to make an offer can also work to your advantage when it comes to negotiations. If you're able to make a solid offer upfront, you might be able to nab the property at a lower price than if you had held off. Plus, it shows the seller that you're serious about buying and can give you an edge in a bidding war. And, of course, being prepared means you won't risk losing out on a home you love because you weren't ready to make an offer or didn't have financing sorted out in time.
4 – Don't be too picky!
Knowing what you want in your next home is great and all, but don't sweat the small stuff too much. You can always change ugly paint colors, wall-to-wall carpets and out-of-date appliances. No house is perfect and you might need to compromise a little if you expect to find your dream home.
Even if the house you're interested in needs some TLC or doesn't have the precise layout you're craving, it shouldn't be a dealbreaker. If you're only focused on finding a home that meets all your demands, you might miss out on a diamond in the rough. So, keep an open mind while searching for homes and think about the potential of a property beyond its current appearance.
5 – Don't be too pushy!
When going to open houses, remember that the seller is also trying to impress other buyers. So, while it's cool to be proactive and assertive in your home search, being too pushy or aggressive might annoy the seller and hurt your chances of making an offer that'll get serious consideration.
Just remember, when you attend an open house, you're not only there to check out the place but also to make a good impression on the seller's agent. Being too demanding can make it tough to negotiate a deal. Also, pushing the seller to take a lowball offer might make them reject it outright or think you're a cheapskate.
Being pushy can also lead you to make quick decisions that might not be the best. For example, you might jump the gun and make an offer without checking the property's condition or market value, which may lead to you overpaying or being confronted with costly repairs after you've bought the place. Also, pushing the seller to take a lowball offer might make them reject it outright.
Great open houses await!
To increase your chances of finding your ideal home at an open house, approach it with a game plan:
- Do some research on the property
- Have your finances sorted out
- Be prepared to make an offer
- Keep expectations realistic without being too fussy
- Be polite and respectful towards the seller and other potential buyers
By avoiding these common blunders, you can improve your chances of success at an open house and discover the perfect place for you.
Speak with your real estate agent to determine the best open house strategy for you — and remember, the best way to be taken seriously is to be approved. To start, connect with one of our loan officers in the area you're looking to buy. Or, if you're ready to begin your application, you can do so online.
Best of luck with your house-hunting adventure!