Megan Tolland's Blog
4 Eagle Rock Terrace, Grafton, MA 01560
Attending an open house is a great way to learn a great deal about a home in a relatively short amount of time. It allows you to see inside the home with your own eyes, enabling you to notice details that are omitted in photos, whether it’s a noisy neighborhood or a smelly basement.
Aside from learning about the home, an open house is also an opportunity to help real estate agents learn about you. Being prepared and professional at an open house could set you apart from other, more casual, attendees helping you make a good impression.
Since most of us don’t attend open houses on the regular, and since there probably isn’t an Open House Etiquette 101 course you can take at your local college, it can be difficult to know exactly how to prepare for an open house. How should you dress? Should you take notes? Is it rude to take photos? Which questions are welcome and which should be avoided?
In this article, we’ll help demystify the open house, leaving you more prepared to leave a positive impression when you go to see what could potentially be your future home.
How should you dress when attending an open house? An open house is neither a funeral nor a trip to the beach. The realtor showing the house likely isn’t a fashion critic-they’re there to answer your questions.
In most cases, casual clothing is appropriate. Since you’ll be touring the house and yard, however, you might want to avoid heels.
Questions and conversation
An open house is your time to learn all of the relevant facts about a house. Good questions to ask include upgrades to the house, how many offers it has received, and the current owner’s timeline (when they want or need to close by).
There are other topics you’ll want to avoid. Don’t ask too many personal questions about the sellers. It will make the real estate agent, understandably, uncomfortable. Also be sure not to reveal too many details about yourself. You don’t want to mention things like your spending limit as this will remove some of your powers of negotiation.
It’s okay if the furniture and decorations in the home aren’t your taste, but it’s a bad idea to criticize these items as you tour the house, as you may offend the agent or owners who have decorated.
Being respectful of the owner's’ space
Even though the house is for sale, it’s still someone’s home. It’s inadvisable to bring food or drinks without a secure cap into an open house.
We live in a time when everyone photographs and shares everything. But avoid the temptation to take photos when you’re at an open house. Would you want someone going through your home, taking pictures of your valuables, and then sharing them online? Instead, refer back to photos that are available online or from the agent.
When it comes to touring the house, all of the rooms should be viewable. In fact, if there’s a room you can’t enter for any reason this should raise a red flag that something is wrong with the home. However, just because you should look in the closets to get an idea of space doesn’t mean you should touch or go through the personal belongings of the homeowner.
Follow all of the above open house tips and you’ll be sure to leave a good impression.
41 SHEILA DRIVE, Bellingham, MA 02019
Buying a house involves dozens of interrelated decisions, many of which could affect the quality of your life for years to come. No pressure, though!
Working with an experienced real estate agent with whom you feel comfortable is one strategy for successfully navigating many of those pivotal decisions. The ideal buyers' agent will be familiar with neighborhoods in your target area, and is trained to help you match your requirements with properties in your price range. They can assist you in developing a priority list of things you want and need in your next home.
In addition to noticing the features of each individual house you're considering, there's also the bigger picture of the character of the neighborhood in which homes are located. Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind as you visit different homes for sale.
- Street traffic: There are several distinct disadvantages to living close to a busy street or highway. First of all, there's the noise factor, which is often a deal breaker for people who thrive on peace and quiet! If you have young children, a busy street can also be a potential safety hazard. When you have cars constantly driving by your house, privacy is another issue to consider.
- Proximity of houses: Speaking of privacy and quiet, there's also the question of how physically close houses are situated next to each other. If they're only ten or twenty feet away, then you might end up knowing more about your neighbors than you really want to! (The reverse of that is also true.) In those instances, privacy hedges and tall fences can provide some benefits.
- Appearance of the neighborhood: If nearby houses are in run-down condition or poorly maintained, that's generally a "red flag," in regard to the quality of the neighborhood. The same can usually be said about prospective neighbors who keep junk vehicles or construction debris on their property for any length of time. If you're considering a neighborhood with one or more abandoned houses on the street, proceed with caution. However, what you see, is not always what you get! Appearances can be misleading, and there may be plans underway, for example, to demolish a fire-damaged house and replace it with a new and improved home. Very often your real estate agent can find out more about the circumstances surrounding an abandoned or boarded-up house. They may also be able to help you research crime statistics for a particular neighborhood or street.
- Convenience factors: All things being equal, it's nice to live within walking distance or a short drive from grocery stores, drug stores, banks, public parks, the post office, child care services, schools, doctors, dentists, hospitals, veterinarians, restaurants, and other amenities.
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