Regardless of where you’re at on your house hunting journey, attending an open house is a great way to tour a variety of homes without having to schedule an individual showing. Whether you are early on in the process and trying to get a feel for what you like or are actively trying to find “the one,” open houses can be a fantastic resource for you—in fact, over 40% of buyers said attending an open house was extremely important to their search.
However, open houses certainly can be awkward! First-time buyers especially are often hesitant to go into someone’s home, and are unsure of the etiquette the situation calls for. Additionally, if you are in serious buying mode, the open house might be your only chance to see the home before putting in your offer—so it’s smart to make the most of it! Below, we’ve listed out several tips for attending an open house so you can be confident and comfortable as you shop for your dream home.
1. Be Sure You Know What to Look For
When scoping out a home at an open house, be sure you’re keeping a vigilant eye out for any issues with the listing such as uneven floors, cracks in walls, or discoloration that may indicate water damage. While you may be open to taking on some projects, it’s important to be aware of these things so you know how it will impact your budget.
2. Chat With the Agent On Site
Typically, the listing agent or someone from their real estate firm will be hosting the open house, which gives you the great opportunity to say hello and ask any questions you may have about the home. Getting as much information as possible will help you make an informed decision, so it is a great time to ask about the reason for selling, average cost of utilities and HOA fees, and what the neighborhood is like near the home.
3. Stay Open Minded
Finding the right house can feel like an uphill battle, but be sure to walk into every open house you attend with an open mind! Even if you don’t think the house will wind up being one you want to move forward on, open houses are still great experiences for gaining insight into preferences and learning about the neighborhoods in the area.
4. Walk Around the Block
Typically, open houses will be on weekends or evenings, which is the best time to get an idea about the neighborhood as a whole. Before or after you tour the home, take some time to walk around the block and take in the scene of the street. This is a good time to listen for loud noises such as barking dogs, monitor traffic flow, and see if the overall feel of the neighborhood reflects your preferences in an area.
If you’d like to learn more about the process of buying a home in Charleston, we would love to help! Contact us today to learn more about how we can be a resource for you.