The warmer seasons are here and OPEN HOUSE signs are popping up all over the place on the weekends. Reports for the weekend's open houses are being pulled by buyers all across the country using their favorite app or site. They're mapping out the locations, driving out to them, but.... maybe not actually going in. Hmmm....
Now, this may seem humorous, but my first tip is to actually go into the home. Yes, I know... it sounds crazy and funny, but you would be amazed at how many people take their time to map out all the open houses, drive to them, but don't go in. Sometimes, they'll even stop, open the car door, grab a flyer from the box, but still not go in. You would be AMAZED at how often the home that a buyer eventually decides on is one they judged by the inside.... not the outside. For that reason, I always encourage home buyers to definitely go inside even if you're not sure about the outside.
One reason that home buyers may be reluctant to go inside is that they feel they'll be pressured, over-sold to, and the agent will come on too strongly. My suggestion would be to simply express to the hosting agent your preference on how you like to view homes. Some people like to self-tour while others like to be given a tour. The host wants you to be comfortable, so feel free to communicate to them your preference. The host will always be on hand to provide additional information about the home that you will not get by simply viewing it, so take advantage of that by asking questions throughout your visit.
If you already have a signed buyer's agent agreement with a Realtor, go ahead and share that info with the hosting agent during the introduction. It's most helpful for everyone to know that in the beginning to make communications more efficient should you want to move forward on the home. Some agents supply their clients with cards to hand out should the buyer go exploring homes on their own. This is great because it instantly supplies the host agent all the contact info of the buyer's agent.
So, as you embark on your home searching adventure, be sure to include open houses into the plan, and as funny as it may sound... yes... actually go in even if you may not be initially confident with the exterior. If you have any questions about visiting open houses, and if you would like me to join you (assuming you're not working with another agent), I would be thrilled to show you some homes. Contact me and we'll get you rolling.