What Can an Open House Tell You?

As the weekend approaches you might be making a list of open houses to check out. The best way to find out as much as possible about a house is by attending an open house. The listing agent, who is most familiar with the house (other than the owners) will be there to hopefully answer any questions you may have. Purchasing a home is a major decision and one that requires some homework. Below are a few questions worth asking if you are truly interested in putting in an offer.

You should want to know why the seller is selling. The seller’s agent might not divulge much information, such as if the sellers are moving and need to get the house sold as soon as possible, but any information you can find out is worthwhile, especially if the reason they are selling has anything to do with the house itself or the neighborhood.

Have there been any offers? If you are truly interested and want to make an offer, you can find out if there is competition and possibly why the seller has turned down any previous offers if there have been any.

How long has the property been on the market? You can tell if you have negotiating power if the house has been on for several months. If it is newly listed and the open house is full, you should present the best offer you can come up with.

If you are looking at a condo or town house, find out the by laws and costs other than the price of the unit. There will be an HOA fee on top of your monthly mortgage payment and the Association may have rules that will inhibit your lifestyle, such as pet laws.

Find out if there are any existing liens to prevent costly surprises. Liens could come from anything such as unpaid taxes, outstanding HOA fees, construction liens, etc.

Do the research before making an offer to ensure you are getting the best price and there will be nothing hidden once you move in!

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