Why You Should Be Going to Open Houses

 

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It’s that time of year again. Kids are back in school. The days are getting a bit cooler and a little shorter. As you drive around your suburban roads, open house signs abound. If you are even considering moving in the next couple of years, I strongly encourage you to start pulling over and checking out some of these houses. Here’s why:

Begin to learn the market. It’s a good idea to get to know the market before you jump in. This way, when you’re really ready, you’ll have some perspective, which allows you to make a hasty decision if need be. If you think you’re moving any time in the next year or so, begin to follow a few houses that are on the market. Pay attention to what they sell for. Though any agent can provide this info, it’s so much better if you can see it firsthand. You’ll develop more of an instinct for real estate, which will make you feel more comfortable when your realtor suggests certain prices ranges.

You’re on the fence. Maybe you can’t decide if you’re ready, or you’re having trouble getting your spouse on board: dip your toe in the real estate game by checking out some open houses. You may just stumble upon your dream house, or you may realize that you’re happy where you are. Regardless, you’ll begin to get a sense of how a home that’s for sale should appear, which may influence your decision.

Meet agents. If you are among the select few who do not personally know a realtor or someone who knows someone, open houses are a nice subtle way to see how realtors do their jobs. Introduce yourself and ask questions. See if there’s someone you click with. Take his or her card and tuck it away somewhere. You want to work with someone who you believe will have your best interests in mind and with whom you feel you have a certain rapport.

Check out the competition. If you are ready to sell your house, it’s a good idea to see how homes in your price range stack up. Get a sense of what other people are doing and the conditions of their homes. Most homes are staged very well and here’s an opportunity for you to get some ideas. You’re not likely to find any old wallpaper or stained carpets. The landscaping should be well-manicured.  These days most buyers want homes to be move-in ready. It’s good to see what’s going to be expected of your house when you list it. You want yours to look as good or better than the competition.

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Really, there’s always a good reason to go to open houses. Besides, aren’t you curious? You don’t want to be known as the “nosy neighbor” who pops in on any house that comes on the market, but if moving is in your near feature, you have a lot to gain but carving out some time on the weekend to see what’s out there. And you could just find your next home…

 

 

 

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About Cindy Raney

Riverside Realty Group
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