Pamela McArdle's Blog
As you go on the house hunt, you’re likely to attend many different open houses. After awhile you can get confused as to what you have seen and where you saw it. Each open house or home showing is only a short window of time. As a buyer, you’re trying to get the feel for a house. Being an observant home shopper can help you to avoid a lot of problems down the road. Check out some of the biggest red flags that you need to look out for when you attend an open house.
The Candles Are Burning Bright
You walk into an open house and see a lovely candle lit on the kitchen table. While it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s not always a good sign. Candles are a great way to mask odors. There could possibly be a musty odor coming from the sink, the basement, or another part of the house. This spells hidden damage and possible danger for you as a homebuyer. While the home inspection should pick up on things like this, you don’t necessarily want to get that far in the process. The art of masking odors could be a sign that the sellers are trying to hide something.
Be Your Own Inspector
As you walk through the home do you notice squeaky floor boards, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, or a drippy faucet? Maybe you see some patches on the walls or mirrors and paintings that seem out of place? These are all issues that could be signs of a greater problem. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, but you should do a little investigating on your own while walking through the house at showings.
The Home Doesn’t Appear Cared For
Curb appeal is one thing, but a home that looks unkept is a sign of a larger problem for you. Has the lawn been mowed? Is the fence in disrepair? How does the home appear from the outside at first glance? There are plenty of ways that you can fix up a home to make it your own once you buy it, but the question is just how much of a challenge are you up for? There is always a chance that you’ll have large maintenance costs when a home hasn’t been properly maintained by the previous owners.
Searching for homes and going to open houses can be fun. It can also be an educational experience to help you narrow down what you’re looking for and what you can handle as a homeowner.
If you're on the fence about whether to attend an open house, there is no need to worry. Ultimately, it is always better to err on the side of caution, especially if you're on the hunt for your dream home. And if you attend an open house, you may be better equipped than ever before to determine whether a particular residence is right for you.
There are many reasons why you should attend an open house, and these include:
1. You can assess a house both inside and out.
An open house provides a stress-free opportunity to walk through a house and examine it on your own. As such, an open house is a can't-miss event, particularly for a homebuyer who is actively seeking the perfect residence.
Of course, an open house enables you to learn about a home's condition both inside and out. And if you find that you like a home after you attend an open house, you can always set up a one-on-one home showing with a seller's agent or submit an offer to purchase.
2. You can envision what life may be life if you purchase a particular home.
It's one thing to look at pictures of a home and imagine what it would be like to live there. However, homebuyers who want to do everything possible to find the right residence should attend an open house to fully capture what it may be like if they purchase a particular residence.
Remember, how a home makes you feel can have far-flung effects on your decision about whether to submit an offer. And if you attend an open house, you may quickly discover whether you can picture yourself as the owner of a residence. Or, if you find that you are uncomfortable with a home, you can instantly move on and pursue other houses.
3. You can obtain home insights that you won't necessarily find in a house listing.
A home listing often contains details about a home's age, recent house upgrades and other pertinent information. But a home listing alone rarely provides you with all of the insights you need to make an informed decision about whether to submit a homebuying proposal.
During an open house, you can ask a seller's agent lots of questions about a residence. This will enable you to obtain insights that you otherwise may struggle to discover in a home listing. And as a result, you'll be able to make the best-possible decision about how to proceed with a residence.
Clearly, there are many reasons to consider attending an open house. If you need extra help as you pursue residences and debate whether to attend open houses, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to find your ideal residence in no time at all.
Home staging is essential because it makes your house look beautiful to potential buyers. That is, the house will look its absolute best for homebuyers who care to check it out. Home staging helps you to improve the appearance of your home by highlighting the most impressive assets of your home to draw the attention of prospective buyers. If you get the home staging methods right, you will sell your house faster.
It is therefore critical for sellers to dedicate time and effort into staging their home because it comes with many benefits. Moreover, you don't need to spend loads of money on staging; most staging processes are inexpensive to implement, so you don't have to pay a tremendous amount of money to get your house prepared for a sale. Here are some ways to present your home effectively to potential buyers:
Stage where it is necessary
Not all rooms are treated equally as far as home staging is concerned. The idea here is that you should concentrate your home staging efforts on the rooms that have the highest chances of influencing the decision of the buyer and spend less time on places that do not have much significance. You should, however, keep the entire house clean and prepared just in case someone decides to look at every room.
De-personalize the space
One reason for staging is to help the prospective buyer see the house as their own. To achieve this, you should get rid of personal touches that indicate that the house belongs to the seller and not the buyer. To de-personalize the space, remove all framed photos you hang on the walls, do not keep clothes in the open, keep them out of sight and remove all personal items like contact solutions and toothbrushes from the bathroom. When you do it correctly, you are trying to assist the buyer in connecting with your property.
Clutter occupies space and space is one of the factors that make a home sell faster. Therefore, make your home look spacious by taking out everything that is not necessary. Pack them out of the house for the time being and out of the way of potential buyers.
Clean the house thoroughly
An immaculate home suggests to the prospective buyer that the current occupant has a good maintenance culture. So, it is essential that you clean every part of the home thoroughly. Ensure that the entire house is clean and not just a part.
Staging your home is one critical step in the home sale process so be sure to talk to your real estate agent so that you can plan for it properly.
An open house is a big deal, particularly for a homebuyer who is intent on finding his or her dream residence as quickly as possible. If you plan ahead for an open house, you can make the most of this event.
Ultimately, there are many reasons for a homebuyer to craft a list of questions prior to an open house, and these reasons include:
1. You can optimize your time and resources.
Let's face it – few homebuyers have time and resources to spare. And if you attend an open house, it is important to do everything possible to maximize its value.
With a list of questions in hand, you can attend an open house and learn everything you want to know about a residence. Then, when you have answers to your questions, you can decide whether to submit an offer on a residence or continue your search for your dream house.
2. You can obtain in-depth home insights.
In many instances, homebuyers will attend an open house and leave with many questions about a residence. Yet homebuyers who create a list of questions prior to an open house can quickly gain the insights they need to identify their ideal home.
For homebuyers who want to obtain in-depth home insights, preparing a list of questions prior to an open house is a must. Homebuyers who ask questions about a house's interior, exterior, condition and age can learn about many different aspects of a residence. As a result, these buyers can use all of the information at their disposal to determine whether a house matches their expectations.
3. You can make the best-possible decision regarding a home.
Buying a house is rarely a simple decision. Fortunately, attending an open house with a list of questions can help a buyer make an informed decision about any residence, at any time.
When pursuing homes, there is no reason to leave anything to chance. By preparing questions before an open house, a homebuyer can take a data-driven approach to evaluate a house. And after a comprehensive assessment, a buyer can move forward with a home offer or reenter the housing market.
As you get ready to attend an open house, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent too. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you may be able to achieve your homebuying goals faster than ever before.
A real estate agent understands the housing market and its intricacies. As such, a real estate agent can keep you up to date about open house events and help you plan accordingly.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will do everything possible to take the guesswork out of buying a house. If you ever have questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
Prepare a list of questions before you attend an open house – you'll be glad you did. By doing so, you should have no trouble discovering your ideal residence.