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Open House Guide for Buyers

Headed to an open house this weekend? Nearly every Sunday I see buyers walking through my open houses having little idea what they are looking for, other than if they instinctively like or dislike the property. Savvy buyers, however, come prepared to maximize their time spent in the open home. You can find all sorts of tips on the internet about what to look for: that the appliances are in good condition, signs of water damage, ample storage space...all of which seem very standard and go without saying, in my opinion. But there are a few things I don’t see in your typical list on the internet beyond bringing a tape measure. Here are my top 3 tips for an open house, if you’re an active buyer.  

  1. Don’t let the staging distract you from reality – It is so easy to be distracted by the impossibly beautiful professional staging of a house on the market. But keep in mind - once the house is yours, the furniture and artwork go away, so it’s important to see a home for the space itself. Does that space work for you, your family, and your furniture? If buying new furniture to match the space isn’t in your budget, be sure to envision your existing furniture and how they would work in that home. Do beds fit in the bedrooms, does your couch match the scale of the room, does your rug match the color of the floors? Not to assume any of these examples would be deal breakers when you find a home you love, but they are all things to keep in mind and track for your budget.  

  1. Utilize the listing agent/open house host – Whoever is hosting the open house is likely to have a plethora of knowledge about that property, beyond what you can read on the internet. While some people seem fearful of interacting with the open house host, they will more than likely provide you with useful information that will be helpful for your home search. An incredible amount of work and research goes into listing a home, so if you have a question about anything from the latest improvements to when the roof will need upgrading, the agent should have the answers!

  1. Come back for a private showing with your agent – While it’s easy these days to find open houses and learn about properties online, I always recommend buyers utilize a qualified agent for the next stages of the home buying process. If you go to an open house and you love the home, reach out to your agent to walk you through the next steps which include getting and deciphering the disclosure package. This will give you greater insight to the condition of the home based on the history and inspections, which is important before strategizing your offer. With your agent,  set up a private showing so your agent can also point out features you may not have thought to look for at the open house on your first visit.

If you are planning on touring some open houses this weekend but not sure where to go, check out this list of open houses in Marin county this Sunday. For a private tour of a property or if you want help with your home search, feel free to reach out to me directly. I’d love to help you find your next home! Otherwise, I hope to see you at an open house soon!
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 224-715-7627

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