Questions To Ask At An Open House
Many seller’s realtors offer open house on their home listings. Open house is a great marketing tool for sellers because it is an invitation for not just potential home buyers but also for realtors. A good open house with have dozens of potential home buyers and real estate professionals visiting the home. It is a great opportunity for potential home buyers to attend and ask questions not just to seller’s realtor but also to the actual homeowner selling the home. Many times homeowners who are selling the home are present at the open house to answer questions.
Attending An Open House
Once you have decided to purchase a new home and are armed with a strong pre-approval letter, you are now ready to place a real estate purchase offer on a home you like. Many home buyers first start shopping for a home from the internet. They check real estate online websites like Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Realtor.com, Redfin.com, and hundreds of other Real Estate Websites. You then contact a realtor and make an appointment to visit the home of your liking. With Open Houses, it is open to the public and open house showings are normally advertised in the newspapers or other media sources. It is highly recommended to take advantage of open houses even though they are not the homes you are interested in placing a real estate purchase offer. The more homes you visit, the more you have a better idea on what is out there, the ammenities, and the values as well as the price per square foot of the homes in the market. Basically, open houses is when home sellers invite interested home buyers in to look over their home they are selling. The seller can show interesting features of their home and the potential home buyers can ask certain questions to the seller such as where the nearest shopping center is, the school system, parks, proximity to expressways, and public transportation. There are certain questions that are important that asking the seller’s realtor or the actual home seller is advantageous than going through the home buyer’s realtor.
Why Are They Selling Their Home?
If the seller is present at the open house, ask the sellers why they are selling their home. This question is a great ice breaker to start a relationship with the home seller. Many reasons why sellers sell their home is due to down sizing, upgrading to a larger home, retirement, short sale, divorce, moving to a different state due to job transfer, or moving to a rural and/or urban area.
Any Pending Offers?
The more people that are present at the open house, the more interest there is in the home and the more competition you will face. Find out if their are any pending offers. You can pretty much judge the interest the visitors of the open house have on the home. There are many open houses where you may be the only visitor. Again, the less visitors that are present in the open house, the lower offer you can start with.
Time On Market
Some homes sell within minutes it is listed on the market while other homes are listed in the market for months without a single offer on the table. Find out how long the home you are visiting has been on the market. The longer the home has been on the market, the more negotiable the home seller is willing to be. Price is not the only negotiation instrument. Terms is also important such as an offer with a contingency that you will sell your home or the amount of time the seller is willing to give you for a loan commitment and the amount of sellers concession the seller is willing to give you.
Utilities And Maintenance
Find out what the utility bills such as the water bills, electric bills, gas bills, cable bills, internet bills are. Also find out how much they pay for maintenance such as scavenger service, lawn service, snow plow service, and other services such as annual inspection fees to the village or county if they have well and septic systems. The more questions you ask a home seller the more the seller will feel that you are a serious home buyer and gravitate towards your offer than any other purchase offer.
What Are The Issues With The Home?
Older homes have issues and most home sellers will disclose what the issues are with the home. Find out what types of major and minor repairs the home seller has made and what the longevity of the roof, HVAC systems, and other items are if they know.
Open houses are offered every weekend in every village, town, city, county throughout the United States. First time home buyers and seasoned home buyers should set time every weekend and visit a few open houses and see what is out there in the market.
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