Spring and summer in Northern Colorado bring wildflowers, adorable baby wildlife and open house season! One of the most exciting steps in the homebuying process is walking through the house you might call home one day. Whether it’s a new or newly-renovated, touring a home in person helps with your purchasing decision.
Sellers and real estate agents usually allow potential buyers to explore homes in what’s called an open house, to generate interest. Potential buyers (or curious neighbors) walk around the property and ask detailed questions about the house. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of an open house.
Meet the Listing Agent
Introducing yourself to the listing agent lets them know you’re interested. The agent will provide their contact information, literature about the home and offer to show you the unique features. Be sure to fill in the sign-in sheet, if available, so the agent has your information as well.
Ask Specific Questions
Learn any unlisted details of the home by asking the right questions. Some important questions to ask include: if the home price has changed, how long the home has been on the market and what offers have been made to purchase the home. If the home price has dropped several times or has been on the market for a significant amount of time, it could be a sign there are issues with the home. You may have room for price negotiation depending on how many offers have been made on the home.
Look for Potential Damage
Before purchasing a home, it’s best practice to get a home inspection. But before you get to that point, you can spot problems at the open house by looking closely. Warped flooring or a musty smell can be a sign of previous water damage or flooding. Black spots near kitchen and bathroom sinks can indicate mold. The home could have foundation problems if you notice cracks in the ceiling or drywall. Beware of these red flags to avoid significant home repairs in the future.
Beware of Unfinished Construction
Sometimes a seller runs out of money to finish a home improvement project. If you see exposed wires or a stack of material in a corner of a room, ask the seller. This could also be a sign that a contractor had issues finishing a project due to structural issues. Either way, it’s important to understand the underlying issue so you can be aware of what you may be dealing with. Some lenders may be unwilling to loan money if the house has unfinished construction.
Explore the Neighborhood
After viewing the home, walk and drive around the neighborhood. Any new development? How is the curb appeal of the nearby residents? If you notice several for sale signs in the front yards of homes on or near your block it maybe an underlying neighborhood issue. If you’re interested in the home, drive-by at different times on different days to gauge noise levels and traffic patterns.
For more information about upcoming open houses or information about the homebuying process, contact us at (970) 686-2798.