“House hunting is a deeply emotional experience that often starts out exciting but might wind through multiple disappointments before you find The One…And if house hunting is like dating, then open houses are most definitely the first date” Rachel Stults. REALTOR.COM
Buyers frequently get goose bumps when they walk into the home that they think – This Is The One. But like dating how do you know if it’s The One or just a good-looking imposter with great swagger? The answer: Do your homework and hire a local professional Realtor.
Typically, you wouldn’t go on a first date without doing a little research on Facebook or Google right? Or at least ask your friends about the person. The same goes for open houses too! Either beforehand or at the open house, Google the address, check out the property tax records, or search on PropertyShark and see what comes up. Think of yourself as a private investigator and see what comes up.
Here are helpful hints to get you through your “First Open House Date”
Is it Just Another Pretty Face- It is to get swept away by beautiful lighting, fresh flowers and designer furnishings. But are you falling in love with the whole package or just the staging. Try to picture the place with out the flashy details. Instead picture it with your pictures and collectibles. Ask yourself is the fresh coat of paint on the ceiling to conceal a leak or the house needed it. Are the fresh flowers covering odors?
It’s OK To Be A Little Nosy – Open the kitchen drawers, the cabinets, and the closets; run the faucets; and look under sinks. This is your chance to get a feel for the place and how it works with your lifestyle.
Overlook some imperfections – Sometimes a picture perfect home is hiding behind a few minor imperfections. Is it just dated? If so, a coat of paint and new flooring can dramatically update the place. If the home has “great bones” or is in an exclusive neighborhood, it could be worth it. Homes that need some TLC can be more affordable. But, keep in mind you have to be up for the work and willing to live through a little chaos. If not, maybe a turnkey home may be more what you need.
Act Interested- But Not Too Interested! Be curious. Ask questions that will elicit telling answers and imply interest. But, don’t go overboard. Take care that you don’t come across as negative or critical. On the other hand, don’t gush over the place. Keep a poker face so that the sellers don’t think that you are willing to pay anything to buy the place.
Keep A Level Head- Don’t get swept up by the competition. Competition breeds desire. This is the time you really need your real estate agent by your side. Your agent can help you determine if you are swept up in the excitement surrounding the property or if it truly is the one for you. Forget what all of the other buyers out there are saying, make sure it’s a good match for you and your family. After all, you are the one who has to live with the decision.
Don’t Be Afraid To Group Date – It’s a great idea to bring your agent to the open house if you’re uncomfortable going alone. Having another, professional set of eyes as you tour the home can come in handy, and your agent will likely spot things more quickly, and with a more objective approach, than you might alone. “Think of your agent as your best friend, your therapist, your sage parent all rolled into one.” says Stults.
Keep A Diary – If you are going on multiple open houses, after awhile it is hard to tell which features belong to each house. This is why you want to keep thorough notes during the house hunting period. After each house write down what you liked and what you didn’t care for. You can also ask the listing broker if it’s OK to take pictures or a video as you tour the house. Share this info with your agent because it could help refresh your memory when you’re making the decision about which house to buy. And if there are any issues, it could be useful is helping your agent negotiate a better deal.
When you find an open house that gives you goosebumps, don’t go it alone. Call your real estate agent and ask for a second date. You never know what could happen. You may fall in love and live happily ever after.
We would love to represent you (advocate for you, work diligently for you..) if you are thinking of buying or selling a property come this spring, summer or fall. Give us a call 619-980-2738 or 619-851-4084. We are ready and available to get you the best results!
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