As you are looking around for your next home you have probably been to more than a few open houses. These can be a great way to really get a feel for the home and to see just how many other people are interested in the neighbourhood.
The whole process of buying a house can be a little intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you hire a real estate agent. As you walk into an open house you may find that you don’t know where to start, you won’t be able to fully inspect every little thing, but if you come with a game plan you will be able to walk away with more information that the casual househunter.
1. Be observant
You should be on the lookout for any small detail that you can spot and also how they all roll up into the big picture. You should be mentally, or literally taking notes as you do this. Be sure to check all of the walls, floors, and ceilings for anything that is amiss.
As you move around, feel the floor under your feet to see if it is level. Don’t be shy about touching things unless you are explicitly told not to. By paying attention to the finer details you may spot some red flags or even some hidden gems.
2. Go through the entire house
You need to be systematic in your approach to walking through the house. You should make sure that you don’t miss any rooms, or cupboards as you don’t want to miss anything. The realtor may be busy with other people as open houses can get quite crowded so you might not get a full tour, so you will need to make one for yourself. Be sure to check out all of the bathrooms and inspect the fixtures.
3. Bring a tape measure
An open house is a great time to take some measurements so it is also a good idea to bring a tape measure so that you can see if your furniture will fit where you want it. Before you set off from your home you should quickly jot down a few measurements of your larger furniture items such as beds, couches, TV, Dining table, etc… This will then allow you to come up with some plans for the house. This can really inform your decision to buy or not.
4. Look past the staging
Any home that is about to be shown off in an open house will be staged by a professional. This will show the home in its best possible light. As you look around the house, try to see past this and view each room as four walls and a floor. This may help you to spot any damage or other things that you don’t like. It may also reveal this to be the perfect home for you to add your own unique style too.
5. Take a walk around the block
If you do not know the area that the open house is in, then it is a good idea to take a quick walk or drive around to get a feel for the neighbourhood. This can offer you some really pleasant surprises like a local park or nearby shops that can make all of the difference as you weigh up your housing options.
6. Trust your gut
You have a very finely tuned set of instincts that you should trust to guide you with the purchase of your new home. If something feels off when you walk into the house, then you should try to nail down what it is that is bothering you. It could be something as simple as the flowers that are on display and not a major concern.