If you are planning to visit an open house, you need to know the etiquette, so you don't end up upsetting the host, real estate agent or other visitors. You also need to know what you should do to know as much about the house as possible during the visit; otherwise, there will be no difference between you and those who are just there for the refreshments. The following tips should help you achieve both objectives:
Focus Your Attention on the Property
In most cases, the owner of the home will still be living in the house, and their personal belongings will still be in the house. This means it is easy to be sidetracked by focusing on the house's contents – things you will not be buying. Therefore, make a conscious decision to focus on the actual property; examine the floor, test the bathroom fixates and confirm the size of the bedrooms. However, ignore the awful color of the carpet or the furniture layout; those will not help you as a prospective buyer.
Don't Ignore Other Buyers
The other buyers are your competition as far as the home purchase is concerned, so it's a bit understandable that you may be tempted to keep them at an arm's length during the open house. Unfortunately, that would be a mistake because you can learn a lot from your competitors. They may have neighborhood information that you don't have, or they may have seen telltale signs of water damage that you might have missed. Have your ears open and chat with other buyers to learn more about the property.
Get Permission for Taking Pictures or Video Records
It makes sense that you may be interested in taking pictures to show to your partner or kids or even to scrutinize at home. However, don't assume that you have the permission to take the pictures; seek the owner's permission first. You don't have to take a picture of your host's expensive artwork without their knowledge and earn their disdain.
Seek Clarification on Important Issues
Lastly, don't just spend the whole time walking around the house like a zombie; take some time to talk to the listing agent and or the seller. Give them the opportunity to sell the house to you; you might just learn a thing or two you didn't know about previously. You can also use the opportunity to seek clarifications on issues you might have noticed while walking through the house.
Contact a realtor that can help you navigate open houses near you.