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Touring Open Houses Can Help You…

Posted September 21, 2018 in Special Features

Krista Cunningham, Clark County WA real estate agent

The general rule is that you should be ready to buy before selecting a Realtor® and start looking at houses. But you don’t need to have cash in hand or lender approval to do a little window shopping. Open houses are a great way to do your research ahead of time without making any commitments or imposing too much on anyone’s time before you’re a serious buyer. Visiting open houses will give you a feel for what’s on the market, what you like, what you don’t like, and how much house you can afford. Listing agents are onsite at open houses just waiting to answer any questions visitors may have, so it’s a perfectly acceptable time and place to begin gathering information.

Decide What You Want
You may already have a vague concept of what your dream home looks like. Attending open house events will help you start adding concrete details to the home of your dreams. Beware the tricks of the trade—things like baked cookies, fresh flowers, and vibrant paint. These sensory attractions may sway serious buyers but you’re there to look past the smoke and mirrors at the more permanent features of the home that give it real value. Going to many open houses will give you a more discerning eye and clue you in on the secrets of the pros.

Develop Expertise
Sometimes a home isn’t staged well or has some unattractive cosmetic qualities like terrible paint colors or outdated furniture. These elements may turn off serious buyers who are more inexperienced which may cause them to miss out on the real gem under the surface. Visiting dozens of homes can help you develop the expertise to overlook superficial flaws and spot a great home when you see it. You’ll also learn how to quickly spot a dud.

Learn Home Pricing
You don’t necessarily have to be a Realtor® or formally educated in real estate to learn how to judge value. When you visit dozens of homes you’ll begin to see how homes on the market stack up against each other. You’ll gain a sense of when an owner is asking a fair price and when someone is asking too much. Pricing takes into consideration many factors such as age, condition, and the selling prices of similar homes in the neighborhood.

Communicate Effectively
At your first open house visit, you may have no idea what to say to the listing agent or what questions to ask. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the real estate lingo there is to learn. It just takes practice and it may help to listen in when agents speak with other visitors. You can take note of unfamiliar terms and look them up later. After you talk to a few agents, it’s very likely that you’ll start to speak their language. You’ll also learn to refine your own list of questions to get the information you need.

Get Ideas For Selling or Remodeling
Maybe you really want to upsize or downsize, or relocate to a different neighborhood. Visiting open houses will serve two purposes: preliminary house-hunting to see what you want or can afford, and also to get ideas on how to stage your home for the market. Or maybe you’re not thinking about buying or selling at all, but what you really want to do is remodel. Touring open houses can give you remodeling ideas to turn your existing home into your dream home and also increase your home’s value.

For more tips and real estate content visit www.ColumbianHomes.com

Want to promote your open house or home for sale?  Call me, Krista Cunningham, at 360-735-4583.