When you are looking for a new home to invest in, attending open houses is a great way to become familiar with available properties and get valuable information about them.
Knowing what questions to ask, the proper etiquette when asking and what questions the representing real estate professionals might have for you can help as you embark on this process.
Know what to ask
Attending an open house allows you to speak with the representing real estate agent and find out a bit more about an available listing. According to Trulia, an online real estate company, it's also a great time to figure out how you can best strengthen your negotiating position when it's time to make an offer.
In addition, it can give you an opportunity to ensure your offer is appealing to the buyer. For example, by knowing the sellers want to move because they've relocated due to another job opportunity and already purchased another house, you can make an offer that also promises a quick closing. The brevity will appeal to those sellers and your offer is more likely to be accepted.
One of the best questions to ask the representing agent is how many offers other interested buyers have made on the property. This will give you a better idea of the demand for the home and whether you are truly interested in the property. If you have a set budget, you likely don't want to enter a bidding war. Finding out there are already multiple offers might mean a bidding war will occur in the future.
You will also want to ask the representing agent about recent updates done on the property, when the roof was replaced, how much utilities cost each month and even what the neighborhood is like. These questions will help you piece together a more complete picture of the home.
Open house etiquette
Remember, when you enter an open house, you are coming into someone's home. HGTV noted there are some things you should make sure you do and don't do when attending an event such as this. For example, if you want to take photographs, make sure you first ask the representing agent if that's alright.
Also, you want to make sure you focus on the home being listed when speaking with a real estate agent. You don't want to waste his or her time on pointless questions that don't relate to the property.
Prepare to answer questions
When attending an open house, Realtor.com noted you might not be the only one asking questions.
When you come to an open house, a representing agent wants to make sure he or she spends enough time with the individuals who are most interested in a home and provides them with the most business.
A real estate agent will likely ask if you are currently working with another professional. If you are not, this provides them with an opportunity to both make commission when selling the home as well as buying. In addition, if you are working with an agent, they want to respect those boundaries.
It's important you are honest about working with an agent. If you have an agent, you won't have to spend time filling out a ton of contact info, instead you can just leave your agent's name.
Open houses are a great opportunity to check out available properties. Asking questions and interacting with the representing agent can also help you make your final decision.