Even though open houses may appear pretty informal, savvy buyers are aware that checking out a residence isn't just about the aesthetics but rather an opportunity for them to learn more about the property. There may only be one opportunity to inspect a home before deciding whether or not to buy it in an extremely competitive market. In order to find an ideal place to call your own, take advantage of the open house period and find out whether the home suits your needs.
This works well when you prepare a list of questions for the seller's agent and do some preliminary research before attending the open house. The goal is to leave this process with enough information to make an informed decision.
Here are some of the things you need to know before going to an open house and starting your journey in Santa Fe real estate:
Make a good impression
There following are some etiquette tips that you should follow for every open house:
1. Follow all the set rules
2. Don't come with pets or children
3. Do mention problem areas to the agent
4. It is crucial to introduce yourself and sign in
5. Do not crowd other prospective buyers
Go with your instincts
Know what to check
During the interior inspection, pay attention to things like water stains, uneven floors, cracks in the walls or ceiling, and mold. You should check the exterior for damage to the walls or missing tiles on the roof. Before making any decisions, you need to consider how these repairs will affect your budget.
Be armed with the right questions
It will help if you prepare as many questions as possible because you can quickly get answers in the open house. The following are some aspects you should ask about:
- The number of offers the seller has received
- The quality of local schools
- The reason for selling
- The duration the property has been in the market
- The history of the house
- Utilities cost
- The level of motivation the seller has to sell the property
- The noise level in the neighborhood
Benefits of an open house for buyers
An open house is more than just a mundane step. It has several significant advantages for the buyers, such as:
You don't need a scheduled tour: Unlike a private viewing, in an open house, you don't need to set an appointment to see the home. All you need is to show up during the open house hours and view it at your own pace.
You will get updated on the current home values: Finding out how much the area's homes are selling for and how much you can afford can be helpful when you're just beginning your search.
Scope out the competition: A visit to an open house can give you a sense of how much interest there is in the property from other potential buyers. This can be helpful when figuring out how quickly and how much of an offer you should submit.
It can help you redefine your non-negotiable home features: Visiting homes in person can help you rethink your list of “must-haves.” This includes things such as whether you really need an extra room.
The red flags to watch out for when you attend an open house
Lots of fragrance
Check out the surfaces under your feet as you make your way from room to room. Does the carpet have any stains that could be the result of a pet accident? Ensure the walls and ceilings are free of any stains or discoloration that a smoker or a leaky roof could cause.
Several homes are on sale in the neighborhood
Signs of neglect
Too many recent renovations
Buyers may be drawn to a house that has been recently renovated, such as one that has a new kitchen or bathroom. In order to make their home more marketable as quickly as possible, some homeowners may cut corners or hire a budget contractor. It's essential to monitor these renovations. A shoddy job will haunt you after you move in, even if it looks great during the open house.
Before making an offer on a home, you should hire a home inspector or structural engineer to inspect the property thoroughly; they'll be able to assess whether the work has been done incorrectly.
Seeing some construction works that have been left incomplete is a red flag that should never be ignored. The seller may have run out of money, or the contractor may have encountered structural issues they didn't want to deal with. If an open house was held before the work was finished, you need to figure out why the seller made that choice.
Remember that banks may have a difficult time lending money to a home that is still under construction. Ask your bank first if they will approve your mortgage before submitting an offer on the house in this price bracket.
Remember to also consider your personal financial situation thoroughly before deciding whether or not to hire an outside contractor or complete the project yourself.
Are you in the search for your dream home?
*Header photo courtesy of Pexels