To many potential home buyers, Open Houses are the most fun part of the home buying process. It is the easiest way to start getting your feet wet in your local Real Estate market.
However, home sellers may still have reservations towards letting outside guests into their home.
So, what exactly is the best way to scour your dream home? And what do you do once you find it?
The following tips are important to keep in mind to make the most of your open house spree.
How to find open houses
There are several ways to go about this process, and you do not want to go into it willy-nilly.
Here are some options to help set a game plan:
- Online Search: com has an open house search feature that is very useful. When searching for homes in your desired area, use the “more filters” option to search for open houses. A simple Google search will do wonders as well. Just search “open houses in ________”, and the results will pour in.
- Social Media: Instagram has been an increasingly useful tool for Real Estate agents. Many agents will tag a featured listing with open house information. In the search bar, type #openhouse plus the desired city you are looking in. You can even take note of the Realtor yard signs that are present in your area and follow them on Instagram to stay up to date on future open houses.
- Signs: Speaking of signs, many Realtors will post “Open House” signs outside of properties for sale. Try taking a joy ride through a neighborhood you desire and be on the lookout for these signs or posters.
- Local Real Estate Offices: Gather a list of local Real Estate offices in your area. Visit their Facebook pages, websites, and even stop by in person to ask what open houses they have upcoming. This is also a great way to get connected with an agent you might want to work with in the future.
Virtual open houses
While in-person home showings are slowly being reintroduced, many virtual home showings are still being offered online as well.
This is usually done as a Facetime call or live video via various social platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
Additionally, Realtors have been utilizing 3D tools where you can virtually walk through the home.
For example, the Matterport technology we here at S&D use, provides all angles of the home from ceiling to floor and can even show you the measurements of the rooms.
Read more about How to House Hunt in the Age of Coronavirus.
The great news is Realtors are also marketing these open houses the same way as in-person ones as well.
Take advantage of open houses
So, you have your list of potential open houses to hit up for the weekend – now what? To make the most out of your visit, it is important to keep these tips in mind:
- Plan your path: If you have a decent-sized list of open houses you are attending on the same day, make sure you map out your route to ensure that you are visiting them in chronological order.
- Take pictures: This may seem like a no-brainer, but, after touring several homes, they all seem to blur together. It is important to not only take pictures of the main living areas and parts about the home you like but remember to take pictures of what you do not like about the property. Organize these photos in a way that will be easy to refer back to later.
- Remember your surroundings: Ask the listing agent about the surrounding neighborhoods, restaurants, schools, crime rates, distance to the nearest grocery store – anything that will affect your day to day life living in that area. This step often gets overlooked by homebuyers who get sidetracked by pretty flooring and countertops.
Whether you are attending an open house in person or virtually, be sure to be present and be aware! Note all the fine details, and if attending in person, be sure safety precautions are being taken.