Perusing online real estate listings can be nothing less than addictive. We’ve all spent time scouring the internet, ogling homes for sale that we don’t intend—or can’t afford—to buy. Because it’s fun!
But would you ever hop in the car and go look at a house in person, even if you’re not at all ready to make an offer?
Before you dismiss the idea, consider what you stand to gain by turning house hunting into an extracurricular activity.
Reason No. 1: Learn more about what you can afford
What you want to buy and what you can afford to buy are often two very different things. Unfortunately, you don’t always figure that out until you’re deep in the process of house hunting, perhaps with your heart set on a dream home that will drain your finances and make you house-poor.
Attending open houses lets you get a grip on what you can realistically expect to find in your budget. Sure, you can enter a price range online—but remember that perusing online listings is only the first step of the process. Often, actual homes look and feel a lot different than they do online.
Reason No. 2: See the agent in action
Even if you don’t find your dream home, you might meet your dream agent. What better way to interview the candidates who could represent you on either side of the transaction than by seeing them in action. While most sellers interview multiple agents to find the best fit, buyers rarely do—which can be a mistake.
Be alert to whether the agent engages you when you first come in or is too busy to acknowledge and help you. And come armed with a few insightful questions about the local market to see if the agent seems knowledgeable about more than just that one open house.
Reason No. 3: Check out the competition
Traffic at an open house can be a gauge for whether the sellers have found a sweet spot with their price, since a new listing should be attracting multiple visitors when priced correctly. If you’re a buyer, the number of visitors can indicate how quickly you might need to pounce when you decide you’re ready. (And it can tell you how to price your own home to move fast if you’re selling.)
Reason No. 4: Get a feel for the neighborhood
If you’re looking in a new, largely unfamiliar community, browsing for a few months can tell you a lot about your potential neighborhood. It can also help you decide what area of town you would like to call home based on the drive there, what surrounds the community and convenience to work, family and friends.
Reason No. 5: Learn more about your needs
The open houses can help you learn more about layouts and amenities that you like. In fact, you might be surprised by what you gravitate toward when you really look around.
Check out our easy to use open house tool on our website to find not only our open houses but open houses throughout Tallahassee!
Article Source: Realtor.com