Open house viewings are a fun way to inspect a potential new home and let your imagination run wild with possibilities. But within that excitement needs to be a clear game plan and a lot of information to help sway your decision about making an offer.
From that first time you set eyes on the outside, to that very last scan around the room before it’s time to leave, there’s not a single second to be spared during an open home viewing.
But with so little time to make an informed decision, it’s important to arrive armed with some solid questions that’ll give you a better idea of the house and its owners.
Reputable real estate broker firms should always want to empower buyers to make the best choice possible, and here are some of the best questions to ask to accomplish this during an open house visit.
Why is the house being sold?
This is a very telling question, and the answer may help you decide on your next steps. Was it due to issues with the home or a sudden change in life plans?
If it’s a new job or a move to a new state, sellers with children may need to sell fast in order to get going as soon as possible. If there’s no clear reason given then you may want to step back and re-examine the situation.
How long has it been on the market?
If you discover that it’s been on the market for a long time but seems like a perfectly good house, there may be a problem with the sellers themselves.
In general, it’ll usually come down to a refusal to negotiate a price, in which case, make your offer but don’t put any other viewings on hold awaiting a reply.
How long have the owners lived here?
It’s very telling if the current owners have only been there for a short while before moving, and it could be a cautionary clue as to the state of the home or the surrounding neighborhood.
What are the owners looking for in a buyer?
Not every seller is motivated by price alone. The highest bidder doesn't always get their dream home. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions, and you may find yourself on common ground with a kind-hearted seller looking for the ideal family to move into the place.
What else is included in the house sale?
Never assume that what you see in a home viewing is exactly what you’ll get. Ask for clarification on things like the fixtures, yard furniture, and other potential extras that may sweeten the pot for you to make an offer.
What are the local amenities like?
Local gyms, restaurants, grocery stores, and entertainment venues are all key factors that can affect your decision to buy.
If you don’t hammer down these points during a viewing, you may find yourself lost for things to do on a Friday night. Asking now can be the difference between a dream home and a dud that’s best avoided.