Open House Tips for Buyers


Open House tips for Buyers

Are you planning to visit an open house without an agent?  Do you know what to look for? 

Every weekend at open houses, I see buyers visiting open houses without their agents.  This got me thinking, did their agents coach them on what look for ahead of time?  

I will share with you 8 tips to successfully view open houses yourself.   

  1. The Space - Is the space adequate for your needs?   What about the back yard is it big enough.  Clever home staging can make you over look many things.  Such as does the home have a formal dining area?  This is especially true in Condos or small homes when they use small tables to represent dining areas or remove the dining area altogether to make the living room look larger and more comfortable.   I also recommend bringing a measuring tape with you as measurements are always approximate. 
  2. Any Upgrades - Ask the agent for a list of upgrades to the home. Then go and check the condition of items that have not been upgraded such as the roof or hot water tank.  
  3. Important documents - If it is a house, ask if the home has an oil tank in the past and if has a recent oil tank certificate indicating that no oil tank exists.  If it is a condo ask if there is any special assessments coming up and if there are any bylaws that may effect your enjoyment.   
  4. Don’t get too excited - Open houses may seem busy, but don’t be fooled, a certain percentage of visitors are nosy neighbours, and the other portion of viewers may not even qualify for a mortgage. 
  5. Listen for Noise - are they playing soft music in the background.  This could be hiding the fact that the street maybe noisy, or they have nosy neighbour.  Always check for noise even after the open house.
  6. Check the amenities - walk around the neighbourhood to check proximity to schools, transit, shopping and community centres.  If this is a condo double check the condition of the gym, party-room, parking and locker if any.  
  7. Take photos and notes - if you are visiting many open houses, make sure you take detailed notes.  If the agent allows it, feel free to take photos of any defects or problems you come across.  
  8. Contact Your Agent - If you like the property please contact your agent.  As the listing agent works for the seller, your agent will work for your best interests as a buyer.  Your agent will go over all the neighbourhood comps and figure out the best home purchasing strategy for you.  

So the thats it, if you have any questions about this topic please feel free to reach out to me.   

Question of the day, would you visit open houses by yourself?  Or would you go with your agent?  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     

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