Buyers February 27, 2024

Navigating Open House Tours: A Home Buyer’s Guide

Navigating Open House Tours: A Home Buyer’s Guide

By Carma Stahnke

Open house tours are a crucial part of the buying process, giving you the chance to explore your options and envision your future in a new home. To make the most of your property visit, come prepared by following these important steps.

Do Your Research

Before attending an open house, do some research on the neighborhood, local amenities, schools and property values. This will help you make informed decisions and ensure that the location aligns with your lifestyle and preferences.

Create a Checklist

Buying a home is a big investment, so you want to create a checklist of your “must-haves” before you visit the property. Consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the kitchen layout, the outdoor space and any other requirements. Having a checklist will keep you focused during the open house tour and help you evaluate each home objectively.

Prepare Your Financing

Understanding your financing options and budget is another key step in your home-buying journey. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will empower you to make a strong and timely offer when you find the right residence. It also helps narrow your search so you can focus on properties within your price range.

Respect the Property

While touring homes, don’t forget that they are still someone else’s property. Avoid touching personal belongings, take your shoes off if requested and be mindful of the seller’s privacy. Remember that it’s in your best interest to make a positive impression, especially if you later decide to make an offer on the home.

Assess the Home From Top to Bottom

As you walk through the home, have your checklist handy and take notes for future reference. Keep an eye out for any red flags, such as cracks in the walls, outdated plumbing or older HVAC systems. Look under all the sinks and around bathtubs for mildew or water damage. And don’t forget the exterior – check the brickwork, siding, roof and balcony. Being fully aware of the home’s positive and negative aspects will be crucial when making your final decision.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to inquire about the age of the property, recent renovations, maintenance history and any issues the current owners may have experienced. It might also be helpful to know how long the property has been on the market. This information will give you valuable insights into the condition of the home and allow you to assess potential future costs.

Following these steps, backed by the knowledge and guidance of your real estate agent, will help bring you closer to your goal of homeownership. Be sure to take your time, attend multiple open house tours and keep a detailed record. Happy house hunting!