Before You Come to an Open House

Pop into that Open House

Whether you’re just a curious neighbor or you’ve been trying to buy a house in today’s crazy market for months, open houses can be a great way to spend a Sunday Afternoon. 

But, can anyone just walk into an open house?

Today, we’ll answer whether you’re welcome, what etiquette to follow, and 5 tips on how to get the most out of the next open house. 

Who’s Invited to Open Houses?

Open houses offer an open invitation to anyone interested in seeing the home. That said, certain open house etiquette is expected. Here are a few tips to make sure you are a respectful guest:

  • Be open about why you’re there: If an agent there talks to you, let them know whether you’re seriously interested in finding a house or you’re just there to peruse. Either answer is fine. This way, you won’t waste your or the agent’s time. 
  • Keep your hands in your pockets: Open houses are for viewing, not touching. Make sure that you (and your kids if they’re with you) respect the homeowners and their property. Stick to rooms where the doors are already open. If you’re interested in seeing every nook and cranny of the house, you can set up a private showing with your agent. 
  • Keep your comments kind: This may be the first impression you make on the homeowner who decides who buys their home. Criticisms you speak openly about the house could offend the homeowner if they are around. If you end up in a bidding war, this could be enough to turn the homeowner toward another buyer who seemed to love the home more.

How Can You Get The Most Out of an Open House

Try out these tips to make your time at an open house worth while. 

  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a realtor: If you come across a beautiful home open for touring and you don’t happen to have your agent with you, there’s nothing wrong with stopping by on your own. Just make it clear to the agent onsite whether you’re working with your own agent already. 
  • Ask plenty of questions: Yes, you can arrive at an open house with loads of questions for the agent. Here are a few good questions you can ask to help you discover a few important details about the property:
    • Why are the homeowners selling the house?
    • How many offers have come in?
    • How long has the property been up for sale?
    • How much are the monthly utilities?
    • What is the neighborhood like (friendly neighbors, local schools, noise levels?)
    • What year was the house built?
    • Have there been any updates to the house?
  • Stop in, even if you’re not buying: If a home in your neighborhood is hosting an open house, take a tour. Viewing the houses in your area and seeing what they’re selling for can give you a better understanding of what your own house is worth. Plus, it’ll help you keep your finger on the pulse of today’s real estate market. 

Have friends or family looking for a new home? Attending an open house can also give you a close up and accurate view of a home that you could recommend to someone else who’s looking.

Looking for Your Dream Home That Fits in Your Price Range?

If you’re looking to buy or sell in Lancaster County, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at the Niv Lemoine Real Estate Group. We match people like you with their perfect home in their price range, and we would love to help.