A Buyer’s Guide to Attending an Open Home

When attending an open house, remember these five key factors to prepare yourself for your property search.

If you’re looking to purchase an established home, attending the open home is a great starting point. An open home offers potential homeowners the opportunity to view the listed property on offer and picture themselves living there, before committing to the sale.

To prepare you for your property search, we have gathered key factors that you should be mindful of when attending your next open home. 

What to do before attending open house?

Open Home Etiquette 

If you are attending an open home, make sure you register your details prior to attending. This will help initiate the relationship with the agent when you attend as they will be expecting you. 

Sending your contact information to the agent prior to the open home will assist in the next stages of the purchasing process. If you decide the house isn’t for you, the agent will be able to send you any future listings and opportunities that fit your property preferences.

Being organised and on time is a great first impression to have with the agent. Aim to arrive at the beginning of the open home so you can look through the house and not feel rushed. If you turn up a few minutes before the open home is scheduled to finish, you won’t have enough time to inspect the whole house. 

Create a List 

Once you have a clear indication of your purchasing abilities, attending open homes are a great way to learn and discover what type of homes are currently on the market in your ideal location. 

It is important to list your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” in a home before you start viewing available properties. This will help you have a clear vision of the home you need, rather than being distracted by the niceties.  

There is no harm in attending numerous open homes. However, if you are a serious buyer, ensure that you only inspect properties that are budget friendly and fit within your price. This will help you stay on the right track of finding your next home. 

Pay Attention On The Property

It is normal for established homes to deteriorate over time. So don’t be disheartened if you have found your next home but it has a few minor defects.

When you attend an open home, ensure you are looking through the house and take note of any defects or areas of concern.  

Minor defects are fixable and do not affect the structural integrity of the house. Examples of minor defects may include: 

  • Cracked or Flaky Paint;  
  • Broken locks; 
  • Mould; and 
  • Stained Carpet. 

Throughout the open house, there is only so much you can see or feel. If you make an offer on the home, ensure you include a Building & Pest Clause.

This Clauses will allow you, as the Buyer, to engage a licensed inspector to investigate the condition of the property. A Building & Pest Report will outline any defects or building concerns in the house. 

It is common courtesy to keep any comments about defects to yourself throughout the open house. You do not want to appear rude in front of the other attendees or the agent. This will not leave a good impression. 

Ask for Permission for Photos or Videos

​​Although online listings feature more pictures, videos, and floor plans than ever before, prospective buyers are generally allowed to take photos or video at open houses. But, just to be safe, make sure you check with the agent first.

Connect with the Agent 

During the open house, you should work to build rapport with the agent. If you aren’t interested in the house you are viewing, they may have other houses that meet your criteria. 

Ask questions. Throughout the open house, it is the agent’s responsibility to answer the questions you have about the house. Agents should provide you with sufficient information on the property to enable you to make an informed decision.  Examples of questions you can ask the agent are: 

  • Why are the owner’s selling? 
  • How long has the house been on the market for?
  • Has the house been flood affected?

Before you leave, make sure you thank the agent and let them know you’ll be in contact if you wish to make an offer. 

Avoid loudly criticising the property

It’s normal to find flaws in a property, but you should discuss your concerns to the agent afterward and be prepared to discuss any problems over the  phone.

Submitting an Offer

If you want to make an offer, contact the agent after the open home and express your interest in the property. 

If you require financing for the purchase, touch base with your Broker or Lender Representative and advise them you are submitting an offer on a property. 

Imagine you are selling your home, and the agent is running an open home on the weekend. You would like your house treated with respect and for people to carefully inspect it. So, you should do the same to the ones you are viewing.

The key things to remember when you attend an open house are to ask the questions you have to the agent and remember open house etiquette.

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