|Do you like to visit open houses?
Holding an open house is a time-tested way to showcase a home for sale. While real estate agents aim to find out what buyers are looking for -- and ideally sell the home to one of them -- as an open-house visitor you can learn some very useful buyer information if you ask the right questions.
Here's what you should find out:
Remember, real estate agents represent the home seller's interests unless you have a contract with one to be your buyer's agent. If you do, you may want your agent to attend open houses with you. At the very least, inform the person handling the open house that you are working with a buyer's agent. Don't lose sight of who represents whom when giving and asking for information at open houses. For more buyer advice, please visit http://www.cbbaker.com/buying.php
- Whether the agent showing the home is the listing agent. Colleagues, assistants and sometimes others may stand-in for busy agents. These helpers may not have complete information about the property -- or be your ultimate point of contact.
- When the home was first listed. If it has been on the market longer than normal, it may be overpriced, have defects or was put back on the market after an earlier contract fell through.
- Whether others have made offers on the home and been rejected. If so, find out why so you won't make the same mistakes should you decide to start negotiations.
- Why the owners are selling. Learning that the owners have been transferred or are almost finished building a new home could help your negotiating strategy.
- What will convey with the home. Will you still want to purchase it if window treatments, appliances and unique fixtures are removed?
- What costs are associated with the property. Ask about monthly utility bills, property taxes, insurance (including flood insurance if it is located in a flood hazard zone), homeowners association or condo dues, and any other associated expenses.
- Whether improvements have recently been made and when. A new furnace, hot water heater, roof, addition can make the home more valuable than comparable properties without such upgrades.
- What price similar homes in the area have recently sold for or are currently listed at. Ask about how the home compares with others in the neighborhood.
To search homes while you are drivingÂ go to mobile.cbbaker.com