Making the Most of an Open House Visit
From: Zillow Porchlight
Here are some best practices for buyers at all ends of the home-buying spectrum.
Open houses are the gold standard in real estate. They’ve been around for decades and will be ingrained in the buying and selling of homes for years to come.
The average buyer attends three open houses, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, a survey of more than 13,000 homeowners, sellers, buyers, and renters. Seventy-one percent of all buyers attend at least open house, and first-time buyers are even more likely to go (77 percent attend one open house or more).
But as a buyer, are you making the most of your open house visits?
Here are some best practices and helpful questions for buyers at all ends of the home-buying spectrum.
Use the open house to learn the market without committing
For the most part, open houses are just that — open. They make it possible for anyone to see a property in a certain time period, without an appointment or even being a very serious buyer.
New buyers should leverage the open house opportunity to get a feel for the market. In today’s world, using online search tools, mobile apps and the open house, a buyer can start to get a feel for pricing and the market before committing to an agent. Most importantly, open houses are some of the best ways for buyer and agent relationships to start.
You don’t have to sign in (but don’t be rude)
The biggest fear of some newer buyers is that a real estate agent at an open house will be all over them, ask for their contact information and then start harassing them for the next three weeks. It does happen, but it’s also common courtesy to at least recognize and say hello to the agent at the open house. Don’t forget, in addition to trying to sell the home for her client, for safety reasons, the agent is keeping a look out for who is coming and going. It’s polite to say hello and introduce yourself to the agent, but you can also politely decline to sign in.
If you’re an active buyer, you should make yourself known to the agent. Let the seller’s agent know who your agent is and don’t be afraid to express interest. When it comes time to review an offer with a seller, listing agents like to put a face to a name.