My 3 Open House Tips for Buyers
With the spring market just around the corner, we’re going to see more and more listings pop up. With new listings, we’ll see more open house opportunities for buyers. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned homeowner, it’s always good to have a game plan before heading into an open house. Here are my three open house tips for buyers.
1. Get Pre-Approved – Speak with a Lender
It seems counterintuitive to some, but your first step to the home buying process is connecting with a lender to better understand what your home affordability is. Like shopping, you don’t go unless you KNOW you have money in the bank. When buying a house, it’s a similar concept.
If you plan on financing a home, you need to obtain a pre-approval letter.
So, what is pre-approval?
A pre-approval is a preliminary evaluation of a borrower’s ability to obtain a loan or mortgage of a certain value range. It’s essentially your “Golden Ticket” to buying a home. A lender will approve you based on many factors such as income, debt, credit etc.
Once you obtain a pre-approval letter from a trusted lender, you will have clarity on what you can afford for your home purchase. If you need a recommendation for a lender, I know a few, just reach out!
2. Get a Trusted Agent in Your Corner
Working with a real estate agent makes the entire home buying process easier! Our biggest value add is education, we’re here to teach and guide you through the journey of home buying.
When it comes to open houses, if you already have an agent that you’re working with, it automatically gives you a head start.
a. Clear Information and Insight
As a real estate professional, we have access to data and information that aids us in learning more about a given property. One large piece of information we have access to are disclosures. Disclosures are specific documents that provide additional insight into a property, such as the state of the condition along with any additional information that may directly impact the sale or value of the property. By having this information ahead of time, your agent can advise you accordingly before you ever step into the home.
b. Protecting Your Interest
In most open house scenarios, the agent hosting the open house directly represents the seller. Therefore, they have the seller’s best interest in mind.
As a buyer, if you’ve created a relationship with an agent, through a buyer representation agreement, that agent now has your best interests in mind.
3. Ask Questions!
As I stated above, a real estate professional’s biggest value is education. On top of licensing, we have relevant industry insight through our experiences. For well-seasoned agents, we’ve seen it all!
So, when you decide to attend an open house, ask questions! More times than not, we have wonderful insight that can help you, the buyer, make clear, well-informed, decisions. Buying a home is the biggest investment you will make, so it’s important to make that investment with confidence and clarity. As I always say, better questions receive better answers. Don’t be afraid to ask the big questions!
At the end of the day, open houses are wonderful opportunities to dip your toes into the market and explore what your ideal home might look like. Regardless if it’s your first open house or 100th, you should still follow these principles to set yourself up for the best chance at success.