Spring is prime selling season, which means that, in addition to the welcome appearance of springtime flowers, we can look forward to the seasonal crop of “Open House” signs that will be sprouting up around town. The Open House events they announce will draw a wide audience of visitors, from the inevitable looky-loos to the serious house hunters who are the target audience.
If you are among the latter group, you should know that the casual attitude most open house attendees adopt isn’t for you. As in all other life pursuits, the choicest rewards tend to end up with those who come prepared. Believe it or not, there are some best practices that experienced open house attendees follow:
Show up early. An open house your opportunity to inspect a listed home without going through the formalities involved in a prearranged showing, but you want to learn as much about the property as possible. Later in the day, you’re likely to be part of a mob, so the agent-host won’t have time to show you around and answer your questions. The first visitors to any open house usually get the most attention.
Don’t be shy about asking questions. The agent won’t be put off—intelligent questioning is the hallmark of serious prospects. See if you can find out how motivated the owner is (determine if there have been asking price changes, days on market, etc.) and why the property is being sold.
Do be shy about answering questions. Be courteous—but don’t volunteer any more information about yourself and your house hunting than the minimum. The agent may well become someone you will be negotiating with: if so, there will be time enough to establish your bona fides.
You never know; any Weber, Davis or Salt Lake County Open House can turn out to have been the introduction to your next home. Knowing that the potential is there will make you an “ace” Open House visitor who makes the most of every opportunity. You can also call me at (801)928-1116 to notify you about upcoming open houses that match up well with your ‘must have’ list!