Mortgage Blog

How to Maximize an Open House

Home Shopping
If you've recently decided to buy a home, you've probably spoken with a lender, lined up your financing and know how much home you can afford (if you haven't, we suggest you start there before continuing). Once you have those important steps taken care of, you'll start scouring home listings on popular sites like Trulia and Zillow. You'll also develop an internal radar that hones in on “For Sale” signs as you drive through neighborhoods. Soon you'll be ready to take the next step and spend your weekend afternoons hopping from one open house to another. But, what are you supposed to do at an open house? What should you look for? What should you ask? How do you maximize your time and get as much relevant information as you can? Zillow experts have great tips that can help you do more than wander aimlessly through a stranger’s home: Are you buying a home? Before you make an offer, find a mortgage lender with MortgageBite’s Free lender comparison platform. Soon you'll be ready to take the next step and spend your weekend afternoons hopping from one open house to another. But, what are you supposed to do at an open house? What should you look for? What should you ask? How do you maximize your time and get as much relevant information as you can? Zillow experts have great tips that can help you do more than wander aimlessly through a stranger’s home: Don’t feel committed – you’re there to learn. It’s called an “open” house – you aren’t obligated to anything, so take the opportunity to learn about the local market.  Talk to the agent, and get some free information about local home prices, trends, etc. You don’t have to sign in, but you might want to. Although signing in does mean you might hear from the real estate agent, if you end up interested in the home, it will help the agent put a face to the name.  It’s also common courtesy, as the agent is charged with keeping track of who’s coming and going in the home. Scout the other potential buyers. You’ll get a good sense for how “hot” the home is, and how much competition there may be.  If people are buzzing in and out, it’s not likely to attract many offers; however, if you notice couples whispering in corners and a lot of Q&A with the real estate agent, you could be looking at a multiple-offer situation or even a bidding war. Interview the agent. This is a great opportunity to informally “interview” your next real estate agent.  Ask them about the local market, get a sense for their experience and personality and see if this is someone you might want to work with when you’re ready to make an offer.   Bottom line – it is no accident that open houses have been around for decades.  While searching online listings is a convenient way to see many homes from the comfort of your couch, nothing can replace seeing the home (and neighborhood) in person and hear directly from the listing agent.  Click here to read more. Ready to apply for your mortgage? Try MortgageBite’s Free rate comparison platform today and get the best deal.
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