Open House Questions

An open house is an excellent opportunity to gather important information about a property. In a recent post we discussed do’s and don’t for open houses. And, we encouraged you to ask the agent questions. Here are suggested questions to ask the listing agent when you are viewing a house. In a future post, we will list suggestions for questions to ask when you are looking at condos.

Please note that MLS listing sheets have data fields for detailed information about each house. It’s a good idea to review the sheet carefully – either in MLS reports you get from your agent, or in the MLS sheet typically provided at an open house. That way, you won’t waste the limited face-to-face time you have with the listing agent asking for information that already you have in writing. The questions listed below are for items that aren’t covered in the standard MLS data fields.

Of course, if you don’t like the house and you wouldn’t consider buying it, no need to ask anything. But, if you go through the house and like it, ask the questions below about the physical condition and the neighborhood. And if you get past all that, and are still interested, ask the agent the suggested questions about the listing (i.e. the marketing and offer process). Knowing more about the listing can help you better position yourself to make an offer on the property that will be accepted, even if there are competing offers.

Think like a seller – not like an owner

AN OWNER
An owner is someone who has taken a property that s/he liked enough to buy – and turned it into their home. Owners tailored the colors to their taste. Not just the colors, but the floor coverings and window treatments, too. They made room on the walls for photographs of loved ones that they want to look at often. And they’ve made room for the knick-knacks that make them feel good…that bring back fond memories. Maybe they had the time and money to make some fantasy renovations…gold faucets, anyone? When owners shows guests around their home, they point out their favorite things, and perhaps shares a few memories.

A SELLER
Of course, every seller is also an owner. But, the “owner mindset” has to be replaced by a “seller mindset” if owners are to be successful at marketing their property. Owners have to stop thinking of their property as “home sweet home” and start thinking of it simply as a house that is for sale. A house that other people will buy and make into their own “home sweet home”. And once owners start thinking of their house this way, they start to understand what potential buyers see, and they can become effective sellers.

Real Estate Myths: Common Wisdom that isn’t so Wise

Let’s look at two elements of common wisdom that many buyers follow when purchasing a home. One element advises them to eliminate certain houses from consideration. The other, tells them how much to spend. We consider both these elements of common wisdom to be myths!