Make Your Open House Visits Count

Even people not in the market for a home find it hard to resist that open house sign on the yard. If you are a serious buyer, though, follow the below tips to make your open house visit count.

Make Plans

Real estate agents tend to time open house events to get maximum traffic so that often means Saturdays and Sundays. These events are no secret — just look in the newspaper or check your local real estate agency websites to learn the details. Don't overdo it, though since everything can begin to look alike after two or three homes within a day. The goal is to find one home that fits your needs, so be organized as you plan your visits. If the home has an open house sign in the yard, you can just walk in. No need to knock. In neighborhoods that don't allow signage, be sure to confirm you have the correct address first.

Meet the Agent

If they aren't busy, meet the agent and get a business card. However, if you are looking for a home in a competitive market area and you find a great home that is about to have an open house, contact the agent ahead of time. You can find out more information and you may even be able to get a jump on other buyers by viewing the home before the open house begins. If you love the home, don't wait too long before making an offer.

Know Your Priorities

Before you visit your first open house, know your price range. Speak to a lender about being pre-approved for a mortgage and have the letter in hand as you view homes. That information lets you know your loan limits and lets sellers know you can afford to make an offer on the home. In addition, if the home you choose needs some updating, you will know whether or not you can afford those updates. Along with the pre-approval, make a shortlist of must-haves you need and those you would like to find in a home.

Don't Get Discouraged

You may have to visit a number of open house events before you find success. The more homes you view, the more you will realize what is important to you. You may, for example, decide that you like the security of a gated neighborhood or that you don't need as many bedrooms as you thought you did.

To learn more about any of the above, speak to a real estate agent about single-family homes for sale