Should you go to an open home if you're not ready to buy?
By Katrina Arkley | 7 Minute Read
With all the listing sites available, browsing homes online can become addictive. Even if you’re not in the market to buy or sell a home, you may find yourself scanning the internet for homes that you do not intend to buy or are completely out of your price range. Not only does this help past the time, but it’s also an exhilarating pastime. But, instead of just simply perusing the web for a home, why not visit them? Attending an open house can be a beneficial endeavour for your future home-buying experience.
Is it okay to attend an open home?
An open house allows prospective buyers to see what’s available without any pressure to buy. So, if you’re not ready to partner with an agent, it’s completely okay to attend open houses alone.
Discover what you can afford
The homes you’re attracted to and what homes you can afford might be two completely different things. Often, first-time homebuyers don’t get a good idea of what they can afford until they are deep into the home-buying process. They might be searching for something that doesn’t even exist. Therefore, the sooner you can understand what type of homes are available within your price range, the better chance you have of successfully finding a home that matches your expectations and budget.
Visiting open houses can help you discover what you can and cannot afford. While you can type in a price range online, the photos and experience of visiting the home might be quite different from the listing. Getting up close and personal with homes that may interest you will give you a better idea of what to expect when you start the home-buying process. This way, you won’t be disappointed and discouraged when you start looking for your perfect home.
Check out the competition
The number of guests attending an open house can indicate how fast you need to make an offer when you find a home, you’re interested in. It can also tell you how you need to price your home to have it sell quickly. While some housing markets can allow a few days to decide, others may only give you a few hours to submit your offer. If you pay close attention to the other buyers at the open house, you may gather some intel about what type of home buyer the seller is looking for. Even though this may not matter now since you don’t intend to purchase the home, it may help you later when you’re ready to submit an offer. The more information you can gather, the better you’ll be able to navigate your home-buying process.
See real estate agents in action
Even if you don’t identify the home of your dreams, you might be able to connect with a real estate agent who can help you find your dream home. Visiting open houses gives you the perfect opportunity to interview candidates, without them even knowing you are looking for an agent. This gives you the ability to see how different real estate agents represent their clients and if they might be suitable for your needs. Be aware of how the real estate agent interacts with you upon your arrival. Do they greet you, or are they too busy to give you the time of day? You should also come with insightful questions about the market to determine how knowledge the agent is.
Observe home design trends
Generally, sellers try to make a great first impression when hosting an open house. Some sellers may even make some updates or hire a staging company before they list their home. Sellers tend to rely on the guidance of their realtor or the design trends happening within the market. Therefore, when you attend an open house, you can get an idea of what home designs you’ll see. It will give you an idea of what you’re attracted to and things you may look for when buying a home. Also, it may give you some inspiration for updates to your current home that will make it feel like new.
Get familiar with neighbourhoods that interest you
Buying a home is about more than the property itself. It’s important to find a home and community that suits your lifestyle. For example, if you want to start a family, you may want to buy a home in a good school’s area with parks close by. Therefore, this is the perfect time to start learning about nearby communities that could be a match for your needs. You can begin by observing the residents and vibe of the communities you’re interested in a few months before you start the home-buying process.
Learn more about your needs
Often, it’s challenging to know what you truly want in a property before you start searching for a home. For instance, how many bedrooms do you want? What amenities are you looking for? Viewing other homes will give you an idea of different layouts and amenities that interest you.
Sure, you may feel nosey or that you’re intruding. However, regardless of whether you’re buying or selling a home, you should visit a few open homes, it will give you a good sense of the process.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not legal or professional advice and therefore is intended as a guide only.
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Words by Katrina Arkley
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