Shop like a Pro at Real Estate Open HousesPosted Saturday, May 18, 2013
You can just have fun visiting open houses when you’re not ready to buy real estate. But get serious and shop like a pro when the time is right for you to buy.
Here are tips that’ll have you shopping like a real estate pro at the next open house you attend:
- Preview the real estate online: Don’t waste your time attending open houses for properties that don’t meet your minimum requirements.
- Remove the emotion: Professional real estate investors and agents don’t allow emotions or gut feelings to determine which property they should buy. Instead, focus on the facts and figures.
- Dig deep: Don’t fall for the fresh coat of paint and new carpeting. Peel back those layers to see what condition the home is in. Open under-sink cabinets and flush toilets. You’ll discover any obvious plumbing problems or water damage, and get some insight into how well the sellers have cared for the home.
- Rely on your senses. Do you smell cigarette smoke or pet odors? Can you hear traffic noise inside the home with all the windows and doors shut? Does the woodwork and wall around the window feel damp?
- Talk with the neighbors. Take a walk around the neighborhood and ask the neighbors what they like and dislike about living in the area. Look to see how well the neighbors keep up their homes and yards.
- Observe the amenities: If there’s a pool, park or other play areas, check them out. Maintenance of these spaces can give you clues to how well the homeowner’s association functions.
- Keep an eye on what you see before entering. Are there any missing, curling or buckling roof shingles? Is the exterior paint peeling? Is there an extensive garden you’d have to maintain?
Buckling roof shingles