Open House Tips & Secrets

Most everyone enjoys a good open house, but there’s so much more to the social part of it. They happen to be a powerful tool for buyers, who offer their insights, and help with the decision making process.

Knowing what to look for at an open house will tell you what you want to know about a property. Let’s take a look at what you want to find out when attending an open house.

  1. Structural Challenges – The house might look like your forever and after home, but to a professional eye, the structural challenges could cost you big down the road.

You will want to check for cracks up high, down low, sliding floors, and potential leaking areas. Open all the doors and close them to make sure they function properly. If you want to make an offer on this house, still get an inspection because that’s basically your last line of defense before you buy.

  1. Cosmetic blemishes – Open houses are staged in a way to make the house most appealing. Staging’s can cover up holes, stains, scuffs, and almost anything else you can imagine.

Ask you agent for a private inspection of the house after the open house. This way you can see what the house would look like on an average day, not on their Sunday best.

  1. The neighbors and neighborhood – People and houses are sometimes two different things come day and night. Open houses are scheduled for prime time. The neighbors and neighborhood could come alive at night with parties, and a bunch of shenanigans at a different point in the day or night. Try driving through the neighborhood at night to see what the community is like at night.
  2. Home insurance history – If this home has a history of insurance claims, head for the hills. You won’t find this information at an open house, but you can find it by asking your agent to get a “CLUE” “comprehensive loss underwriting exchange”. This report is a five year history of insurance claims. If the roof is new, or it’s clearly been worked on recently (obviously not a renovation, remodel, or addition) definitely ask your agent about this.

Knowing what to look for at an open house can save you big in the long run, as well as set you apart as a buyer. These are important steps becoming well rounded in the real estate world.

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