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What to Bring & What to Look For: An Open House Checklist for Buyers

real estate open house 2022 marketIn the current housing market, sellers are earning top dollar for their homes, but buyers are feeling a little overwhelmed. Many find it challenging to find their perfect home with the high demand and low inventory. A competitive market like we have now can be stressful. If you’re planning on attending an open house soon, avoid panic-buying by being prepared and having the ability to make a quick offer if you like the home.

So what does preparing for an open house look like? What should you ask? What should you look for? Below is a guide that will help you make the most of your open house experiences.

What To Bring And What Not To

Before diving deep into the list, you’ll want to dress comfortably, including your shoes. It’s in your best interest with all the wandering around and possible stair climbing. When looking at a house, you’re more than likely wondering if your current furniture will fit. Bring a tape measure and notebook to write down any measurements you need.

If you’re preapproved for a mortgage, bringing your documentation will show that you’re a serious buyer. Of course, it’s not necessary but something to consider. Something you may be required to do is wear a mask so just in case, tuck one of those in your bag as well. Although mask mandates have been lifted in most cases, some homes may still want you to wear one.

If taking photos helps you in your process, just make sure to ask. Having a visual to refer back to (especially if you’re attending multiple open houses) can save you from racking your brain later about what you did and didn’t like.

What To Look For

Beautiful staging and tasty snacks can definitely sidetrack you from what you’re really there for. Make sure you take time to look beyond the home’s surface appearance. You want to make sure it’s a good match for your needs and is worth the investment.

While thoroughly looking around, take some notes about what stands out, whether it’s something you like or don’t like. Just like we mentioned above, homes can start to blur into one another when you’re looking at so many. Like taking photos, written notes are great too.

Think of how you use your space. For instance, if you work from home, look for a space that can accommodate your needs. The last thing you want to do is move in and realize there’s nowhere to put your desk or office supplies.

What To Ask

To help prepare yourself, think ahead of time about what’s most important to you when choosing the area you live in and bring those questions with you. You may want to know about the local shopping in the area, or the school district, so now would be the time to ask those important questions. And don’t be afraid to ask why a homeowner is selling their home. This question can quickly tell you if the buyer is serious or just testing the waters.

Asking about appliances, heating, cooling, floors, and the roof are great questions that will bring insight into how updated the space is. If they happen to be originals, you have time to be prepared for potential replacements needed if you choose that home.

Whatever questions you decide to ask, remember to always trust your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, then most likely it’s not.

Buyers Open House Checklist

Appliances: are they in good condition?
Cabinets: is there the space you need?
Ceilings: look for signs of damage.
Flooring: be on the looking for damages here too.
Landscaping: is it in good shape?
Light Switches: flip them all to make sure they work.
Garage/Shed: don’t forget to check these out too.
Room Size: will they accommodate your furniture and needs?
Storage: is there enough for your belongings?
Windows: what direction do they face and are they in good condition?

If you want to be a well-rounded buyer and show up prepared, use this as your guide. You too can navigate an open house like a pro and be ready to submit your offer quickly when it’s the home you have to have.