Vanessa Duguerre's Blog
Open houses can be a great way to get to know a home and the neighborhood it sits in. Sure, the seller will be trying to put their best foot forward on the big day. But, you’ll still be able to get a chance to tour the home relatively uninterrupted.
But what should you look for in particular when attending an open house?
There are a number of things you can learn at an open house. Many prospective buyers spend the time looking at things like paint color and cosmetic touches that can easily be changed, and very little time considering important factors that should go into their home buying decision.
So, in today’s post, I’m going to cover some of the lesser known things you should be looking out for when you attend an open house. That way, you’ll know which houses are worth considering further and which ones should be left behind.
Not enough storage space
If you find yourself constantly running out of storage space (and who doesn’t?), you’ll want to make sure the home has ample space to store your belongings. If it doesn’t, see if you can find ways to repurpose areas for storage, such as spare bedrooms or garage space.
Overly scented areas
It’s perfectly normal for a seller’s agent to place one or two choice candles in the home during an open house.
However, if you notice some rooms have an overpowering smell of candles or air fresheners, there’s a good chance it’s there to mask offensive and hard to remove smells. Pet and cigarette odors are among the worst culprits.
The windows, doors, and cabinets should work like a dream
When attending an open house, take note of how well the doors open and close. If appropriate, ask the seller’s agent if you can try out the windows and cabinets as well.
Problems with these items can be signs of poor craftsmanship, cheap materials, or neglect.
Traffic and neighbors
If you’ve found what you think is the perfect home, it can be easy to see the world through rose-colored lenses.
However, it’s important to take them off when looking around the yard. Take note of the traffic level, and the amount of privacy the home receives. If you like the home, it’s also a good idea to stop by the neighborhood during rush house to gauge how traffic would affect your commute.
Air flow issues
Improper ventilation can lead to mold growth, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Make sure bathroom vents and fans work properly, and check windows for condensation.
In rooms with sinks, check around the base of the sink and counter for signs of water damage or mold.
Large cracks in foundations or ceilings
While small, hairline cracks in the foundation of a home are completely normal, large ones can be dangerous.
They can allow water and pests to enter the home, causing all types of costly damages.
Keep those six tips in mind when you attend the open house, and be sure to bring a list of any other questions you might have for the seller’s agent.
When you’re selling your home, things can get really busy, really fast. You want your home to be in tip top shape to give it the best chance of selling in a timely manner. There are a few things you can do in a short time frame that allows you to spruce up your home without breaking a sweat. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you bring your home to another level of wow before the open house.
Check Your Front Door
All you really need to do is put a fresh coat of paint on your front door to brighten the look of your entryway. There’s something about a freshly painted front door that really makes a home look like new.
Spruce Up The Landscaping
You can really do a minimal amount in your yard and make your home curb-appeal ready. Just rake some leaves, add some mulch, mow the lawn, and voila. It might be an all day project, but in the end, it will be worth it. As long as people have a good view and feel that your yard has been taken care of, the outside of your home is in the clear for an open house.
Check The Outdoor Lights
Even though an open house will be happening in the daylight hours, people may be curious that there is adequate lighting on the outside of your home. Buyers can either check this while they are at the open house or they could go a step further and drive by the property at night. Adequate lighting allows for a sense of security and safety all throughout the outside of the property.
Care For The Mailbox
Few places in your home are as neglected as the mailbox is. Add some fresh paint to your mailbox. You can use the same color as your front door for consistency. At the very least, clean up the mailbox to give it a better appearance. Make sure your house number is present somewhere on the box as well. This helps the property to have a sense of being a bit more inviting. People will also be able to find your home easier.
Make Use Of Flowers
You should place flowers around your home on the day of the open house. Add a fresh cut bouquet to the kitchen table. Bring some potted plants and florals around your entryway. These simple touches really can make an impression when potential buyers visit your home.
Remove Your Personal Stuff
From the outside in, traces of your life in the home should be put away. This means pet items, toys, games, photos, and celebrity shrines. The more free space a buyer has to envision themselves living in the home, the better.
With these small extra touches, your open house is bound to be a success!
As you go on the house hunt, you’re likely to attend many different open houses. After awhile you can get confused as to what you have seen and where you saw it. Each open house or home showing is only a short window of time. As a buyer, you’re trying to get the feel for a house. Being an observant home shopper can help you to avoid a lot of problems down the road. Check out some of the biggest red flags that you need to look out for when you attend an open house.
The Candles Are Burning Bright
You walk into an open house and see a lovely candle lit on the kitchen table. While it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s not always a good sign. Candles are a great way to mask odors. There could possibly be a musty odor coming from the sink, the basement, or another part of the house. This spells hidden damage and possible danger for you as a homebuyer. While the home inspection should pick up on things like this, you don’t necessarily want to get that far in the process. The art of masking odors could be a sign that the sellers are trying to hide something.
Be Your Own Inspector
As you walk through the home do you notice squeaky floor boards, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, or a drippy faucet? Maybe you see some patches on the walls or mirrors and paintings that seem out of place? These are all issues that could be signs of a greater problem. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, but you should do a little investigating on your own while walking through the house at showings.
The Home Doesn’t Appear Cared For
Curb appeal is one thing, but a home that looks unkept is a sign of a larger problem for you. Has the lawn been mowed? Is the fence in disrepair? How does the home appear from the outside at first glance? There are plenty of ways that you can fix up a home to make it your own once you buy it, but the question is just how much of a challenge are you up for? There is always a chance that you’ll have large maintenance costs when a home hasn’t been properly maintained by the previous owners.
Searching for homes and going to open houses can be fun. It can also be an educational experience to help you narrow down what you’re looking for and what you can handle as a homeowner.
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