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Trulia Chica…, Other/Just Looking in Chicago, IL

What should one look for when walking through a home's open house?

Asked by Trulia Chicago, Chicago, IL Tue Jan 22, 2013

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If you are seriously looking to purchase a house or condo here is what I feel one should look for. To many times buyers walk through a property just looking at the surface. What do I mean by just looking at the surface? The buyer is just browsing, not really looking into things. The buyers in my opinion should be doing the following. Some people will think the advice I am giving is a little over the top, but if you think about it just taking a few steps that can help a buyer(s) decide whether to keep a property on the list of potential properties to purchase:

1) In every room that has windows make sure all the windows function properly?
2) What condition are the floors in? Note any flooring issues.
3) Does the paint job appear to have been done well in every room?
4) Do all the light fixtures work?
5) What conditions are the bathrooms in?
Buyers should walk all the way in the bathroom and look at the tile, look under the vanity look for any water damage. If there is a window in the bathroom in it is next to the Tub/Shower look for possible water damage.
6) Does the living room, dining room, or combo have the amount of space they want for furniture?
7) Are bedroom size simply adequate, or meet’s expectations, or exceed expectations?
8) How is the closet space throughout the house or condo? Adequate, or meets expectations, or exceed expectations?
9) If in unit laundry? How does the condition of the washer/dryer appear to you; excellent, good, fair, or in need of replacement?
10) The Kitchen if back splash, does it look like it is in good condition? Look under the sink, is it in good condition? Do all the cabinets open well? What is the condition of the cabinets when you look in; excellent, fair, or good? What condition do the kitchen appliances look to you?
11) Does the house or condo have sufficient storage space for your needs?
12) If porches, balconies, decks. What does the visual condition appear to you? Do you see any cracking in the materials, painting that is required, etc.?
13) If a house and it has a basement? Do you see any obvious signs of flooding? Look at the walls from the floor line up look for discoloration. Do you smell mold or a damp smell?
14) If a condo – are the common areas well maintained by the association?
15) Yard? If there is a yard, what condition is the grass, shrubs, landscape, fence, etc.? If the yard is in poor shape it could cost the buyer a good dollar amount to make it enjoyable.
16) If Garage and what shape does it appear in? If it is its own structure does it look well maintained?

Of course this is just a general list that can be added to or subtracted from. I am not taking into consideration if someone is looking for a fixer upper, just a good deal, or something move in ready. I am sure I have missed some areas as well. Also, by no means am I asking the buyer to act as a professional home inspector, but to look at everything using common sense. Once the buyer has decided on the property they would like to make an offer on with their broker and if the offer is accepted the buyers should immediately contact a professional home inspector before moving forward with the contract.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
Interior, Exterior, Neighborhood, Affordability
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
A home you like.
Besides being clean and tidy and presented correctly that is the most important information.
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 30, 2013
Look to see how the home feels to you and if you could see yourself and/or your family making it a home. Also consider if it will be an attractive home when you resell it. Consider things like exposure, space, does it have parking (if a condo). Even if something isn't necessarily that important to you, it could be a deal breaker for the future buyer of your home. Obviously look for the purpose of loving the home while you live in it but consider the future of the home after you've come and gone.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 28, 2013
If it's a single family home or condo, pay extra attention to the bedroom sizes and locations, bathroom size and finish levels and the kitchen size and finish levels. If you need everything up to date, kitchens and bathrooms are where the cost is the highest for a remodel.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 28, 2013
Have a list of all your "wants and needs" and see if that house meets that list. Also check out the neighborhood, schools and any other site that might be something that you could not live with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 28, 2013
Certainly not the drawers or personal items be courteous and respectful of others privacy
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
Open houses are generally perceived as a time to casually browse the home to see if it warrants a return visit. Do you like the neighborhood? Does the layout work for you? Are the finishes done to your taste or can you change a few things to make the home work fr you? How's the storage space? What's the street parking like if you like to entertain? Does the transportation available work for you? If it feels right and meets your criteria, it may be worth re-visiting with your Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
An open house is a good time to get a feel for layout. Check out closet space, kitchen, outdoor spaces.. Basically, try to picture if you could see yourself living there.

Best regards,

Ivan Sagel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 22, 2013
Things that stick out to them. Make sure it has a good layout, nice natural light, the upgrades they like. Does it fit your lifestyle, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 22, 2013
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