Weekends are often a busy time for those looking to buy a new house. Not only do you have more free time, weekends are also the time for open houses. One major benefit of the open house is that you can see a lot of properties in a short period of time without having to schedule a viewing. Additionally, the seller's agent is on hand so you can ask questions and often get immediate answers. The following tips can help you make the most of each open house visit.
Tip #1: Put your agent on notice
When you attend open houses you won't have your agent with you. This can leave you at the mercy of the seller's agent, who is likely skilled at closing the deal. Let your agent know that you will be spending the day attending open houses and ask if they will be available if you call with questions. If not, request an alternate that you can contact. This way you can call your agent as you tour the homes in the event you need them to look up information on the property or if you want to make an offer on a home you view. Your agent can help you maintain a level head so you don't jump on a home you may later regret.
Tip #2: Scout ahead
Plan your open house viewings ahead of time. Most open houses run for two to four hours, although some are longer. Common start and end times on the weekend can range from mid-morning to late afternoon, with most wrapping up before dinner time. Look through the real estate ads and write down the address and times for any open houses you don't want to miss. Plan your day to be in the neighborhood of each of these showings when they are open. Then, you can use the extra time between your main open houses to fit any any others that happen to be nearby.
Tip #3: Bring a notebook and camera
Viewing more than a couple of homes in a day guarantees that your recollection of the homes will likely blend together. To prevent this, bring along some methods to document each home. A notebook works exceptionally well. Note the address of the home and then list any pertinent info about the home as you walk through and talk to the seller's agent. It can also be helpful to take pictures of key features or the exterior of the home itself to help jog your memory of details later. Just make sure to ask the agent before snapping photos.
For more help, contact a real estate agent in your area.