An open house can be an opportunity for you to get information about homes and the housing market. Open houses are a common real estate practice because they give an agent the opportunity to market the home and to meet prospective buyers.
Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Are you the listing agent for this house? Busy agents sometimes arrange for a colleague or assistant to conduct the open house. Don’t assume the person showing the home is knowledgeable about the house or has met the sellers.
- How long has the home been on the market? Well-priced homes in good condition generally sell in a short period of time. Unless the local market is weak, you will want to know why a particular home is not selling. Are there hidden defects? Is it overpriced? Are the sellers requiring something that may seem unreasonable as a condition of the sale?
- Have the sellers received any offers? If the sellers rejected offers that were too low or had contingencies or conditions, you should find out before you experience the same.
- Is any furniture or fixturing being sold with the house? If you’re thinking of buying the home, there is no better time to ask whether the seller would be interested in including the patio furniture or the dining room chandelier.
- Are there any special costs attached to the property? Is there a homeowner’s association that has dues or fees? Are there particular tax assessments? Are there any natural hazard issues to be aware of? Are there any hidden costs of owning the home?
- How does this house compare to others on this street? The local agent may be able to speak about recent sales in the neighborhood as well as some interior ideas seen in other homes.