An open house is not only potentially hugely beneficial to a home seller but to a home buyer as well, even if they don’t actually fall in love with the home (in fact even if they hate it) There is an awful lot that can be learned from any open house, from whether a property really looks as good in ‘real life’ as it did in the online photos to what the street noise levels are like and in some cases even what one might be able to expect from the neighbors. What is sometimes far less clear though, especially to a first time buyer, is exactly what should be done to follow up after an open house, whether you are interested in the home or not. Here though are some of the things I would advise:
If You Loved the Place
If you fell in love with the property and think you are ready to make an offer keep the following in mind:
It’s OK to Go Back for Another Look – Open houses are great but there are often quite a number of folks around at any given time and so you may not have had the chance to see everything or spend as much time looking around as you might have liked. That’s why it’s OK – and in fact it’s advisable – to go back for another, private viewing.
Brainstorm Your Best Offer – If you believe you are ready to make an offer then it’s time to get together with your Realtor to brainstorm just what that offer should be. Your Realtor will be able to help you find comparable home sales in the area factor in things like how long the property has been on the market, and any repairs the property may need rather than simply just meeting the asking price because you are very keen.
Be Prepared to Wait – You made your offer over a day ago, why haven’t the sellers responded yet? This is driving you nuts! Why hasn’t your Realtor called yet? Is she following up properly?
At this point you do need to remember that accepting an offer is a big decision for the seller too, and as soon as your agent hears something, you’ll be the first to know. The waiting is the hardest part I know; so try to find ways to distract yourself and don’t panic.
If You Aren’t Sure
You liked the house, it met most of your criteria, but you are not sure that it is THE ONE. In that case the very best course of action is to arrange to go back for a private viewing as soon as possible. At an open house he sellers’ agent (or the seller himself) is busy extolling the home’s best features every two minutes and the hard sell is often really on, there’s mood lighting and fresh-baked cookies, and you hear other buyers ooh and ah. Going back for a second look when it’s just you and your agent can give you a far better idea of what you really think.
If You Didn’t Like the Place
Could not wait to get out of that open house?It’s OK; there are lots of things you can apply to your house hunt even if you feel as if every house you’ve seen so far isn’t vaguely like the one you thought you were looking for. There are in fact things you can take away from going to see a house you hated (or at least did not like very much)
Think back, just what was it about the home you disliked that really turned you off? Was the kitchen too small? The neighbourhood too loud/too quiet? The overall home style just wasn’t right for you? keep these points in mind as you continue to peruse listings and you might save yourself a couple of ‘wasted trips’ in the future.