Open homes have long been a tradition in the real estate world. Although you could probably think of better ways to spend your weekends, they’re absolutely necessary in the buying process, and are a great way for buyers to suss out the competition and investigate beyond the listing data. Before you go in, here are few tips for navigating an open home.
Walk right in! If the property has been listed in the paper or online with an open time and has a signboard at the front don’t bother with formalities such as knocking or ringing a door bell, just step right in.
If you’re not actively looking to buy, don’t feel bad for dropping by. Open homes are there for potential buyers, but it’s also a great marketing tool so that neighbours and passer-by can spread the word to their network.
Don’t monopolise the agent’s time. Open homes are generally very busy events and at VARO we make a conscious effort to speak to each group who is present however if we’re busy, pick up one of our brochures and feel free to take a self-guided tour.
We like to create rapport with people who have attended, it helps to distinguish and remember each person. This doesn’t mean that you have to divulge too many details about your situation or circumstances.
Ask permission before taking any videos or photos. This is somebody’s home, so it is important to respect their privacy.
Open homes are often so crowded that as you exit a room, another viewer will be right behind you. If possible, it’s recommended that you wait for the other group to leave the room before you enter.
As agents, we advise sellers to de-clutter and remove personal effects so that potential buyers feel comfortable to ask direct questions. This doesn’t give people an all-access pass to go snooping around. We understand that you want to make sure there’s enough storage space but don’t go rifling in wardrobes or drawers. Also if you do encounter a closed door, ask the agent before entering.
Don’t be afraid to ask blunt and pointed questions. The majority of the time, sellers won’t be present at open homes however if you still feel uncomfortable give the agent a call or wait until we follow up with you to ask. All feedback is appreciated and valued.
Remember why you’re there – the property! Check if anything is broken or squeaks. A good tip is to take a notebook and tape measure.
Sign in, leaving your name and contact details. A stranger has allowed you to go through their home, so it’s good to let them know who you are. If you don’t want a follow up, please let us know.
Following these simple points can help you navigate an open home and see you in your dream property sooner!