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What You Might Not Know to Look For At an Open House


An open house allows a potential homebuyer to view a property for sale without having to schedule an appointment with the listing agent. It is common practice for the listing agent to host open houses on the weekends when people have more time to look at homes. When shopping for a new home, you can view open houses to get a feel for the property and the neighborhood.

Even if you’ve been to a few open houses, it’s always challenging to be mindful of the details at a new home. With that in mind, here are a few open-house tips for buyers.

Neighbors

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When you purchase a home, you buy into a neighborhood. A house’s location and immediate surroundings are more or less set in stone. At a minimum, take stock of the surrounding homes and note how neighbors maintain their properties. Take a walk around the neighborhood to immerse yourself in its rhythms from a local's perspective. You can even seek out a few prospective neighbors and ask them any burning questions. When it comes to a house’s environment, the more information you have, the better.

Damage

Pay close attention to the condition of the property during your visit. Look for any signs of structural issues, water leaks, or pests. These are all potential red flags that could indicate serious problems with the home. If you see any damage, ask the listing agent about it. Damage can be tricky to spot; look for clues like fresh paint marks or uneven wall texture around windows and doors.

Storage space

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One thing you might not think to look for (but is very important) is storage space. When you are touring the home, look inside the closets and cabinets. Are they deep enough to hold all of your things? Is there extra space for holiday decorations or other items?

Closets can be especially critical in a home, and it is not common practice to list the number of storage areas in homes for sale. As you walk through a house, keep track of the number of storage spaces compared to your current home. If you want to upgrade for more space, this is an essential criterion to make a home functional.

Privacy

Another vital thing to consider when touring a home is privacy. Many potential buyers want a home where they feel safe and are not visible to neighbors or passersby. Take a walk around the property’s perimeter and see how close the neighbors’ homes are. Are there any windows that overlook the neighbor’s yard? How much foot traffic passes by the property? During the open house, look out each window and consider the home's level of privacy.

Airflow

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Hiding in plain sight, airflow is essential in a home. You probably know how stuffy and uncomfortable a place can be without good airflow. Anywhere from an old home’s attic to the ancient catacombs below Paris testify to the importance of airflow.

Good airflow circulates heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. It can also help reduce allergens and dust in a home. When you are touring a home, pay attention to the airflow. For most people, choosing a home that will stay cool in the summer is essential; in the winter, you want a home that will retain heat. Moreover, scrutinize all windows and doors for any cracks or gaps. These gaps can let in outside air and make it challenging to keep the temperature inside the home comfortable.

Natural light

is another thing to look for at an open house. There are so many factors to consider as you tour homes that this detail may slip your mind. Natural light passes through windows, making a home feel open, airy, and comfortable. If you want a bright and modern home with limited artificial lighting, it is critical to have a home with beautiful, well-placed windows.

Other potential buyers

Another thing to be aware of during an open house is the other potential buyers. It is not uncommon for people to use open houses as an opportunity to scope out the competition. If you are serious about making an offer on the property, pay attention to the other people interested in the home. That way, you and your agent can understand your level of competition and how to craft the winning offer.

Strong chemicals or odors

In addition to the physical aspects of the property, it is also essential to pay attention to the smells in the home. Strong odors can signify pets or smoking. These odors can be challenging to eliminate. If you notice any strong odors, it could indicate the presence of mold or other problems.

Recent renovations

If you notice a lot of recent renovations, it could be a sign that the seller is trying to hide something. Recent renovations could signal damage that has been repaired or a way to cover up a problem with the home. If you see a lot of recent renovations, be sure to ask the listing agent about them and see if there is any additional information about the work done.

Multiple sales in the neighborhood

Multiple sales in a neighborhood could be a bad sign for buyers. If there have been a lot of recent sales, the area may not be as desirable as it once was. If you are considering a home in a neighborhood with multiple recent sales, consult your agent, who can research the wares of a particular area.

Vincent Branda is a Naples real estate agent with a strong network and years of experience buying and selling luxury homes. With Vincent by your side at an open house, you can learn more about the property and pinpoint key details that could influence your purchase. Reach out today as the first step in your homeownership success.



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