Open houses are a great way to see a property you might be interested in without having to set up a private showing. Often, the listing agent is the host of the open house, which can provide you with the opportunity to ask them detailed questions. It can sometimes be hard to know exactly what to ask during an open house, so arming yourself with a list of questions beforehand can be a great way to be prepared and walk away with answers to everything you wanted to ask.
We’ve put together a list of questions to add to your list, so you know exactly what to ask during the next open house you visit!
How Long Has the Property Been on The Market?
There are several different reasons why you should inquire about how long a listing has been on the market, one of the biggest ones being that a new listing might garner more immediate attention. This could lead to you having to be prepared to submit an offer quickly if it’s a property you are seriously interested in. Alternatively, if a property has been on the market for a longer length of time, it might provide you the opportunity to negotiate. If a home has been sitting on the market for a significant period of time when the market is hot, it might be worth digging deeper to find out why that might be.
What Comes Included with the Property?
Another question that should be on your list when viewing an open house is what exactly will be included with the property. While most homes will be sold as unfurnished, some cases may find the sellers leaving items behind to be included with the home. Other times, there may be unique finishes, such as light fixtures or appliances, that the seller will take with them, leaving the buyer with the responsibility of replacing them upon moving in. You may even encounter sellers who sell their home as fully furnished, so understanding exactly what is included with the property is important.
Have There Been Any Major Updates Made Recently?
One of the most important questions to have on your list during an open house is whether or not any major updates have been made recently. Houses can come with some big maintenance costs, so knowing whether any major updates have been made, such as the roof or windows, can help give you some piece of mind if you decide to put an offer in on the property.
Are There Updates That Need to Be Made in the Near Future?
Alternatively, it’s always a good idea to ask the listing agent if there are any major updates that will need to be made in the near future. The home itself might be in good condition, but if a hot water tank or furnace need to be replaced in a year or two, that can have an impact on the offer you submit if you’re interested in the property. If it is obvious that there are updates that need to be made right away, that could be something to factor into your offer. There may be opportunities to negotiate to account for any updates needed.
What Are Some Additional Costs?
When viewing a property, many potential buyers only think about the purchase price and fail to take the other costs associated with owning a home into consideration. Therefore, you should always ask about average costs for things like utilities and yearly taxes. As well, if you’re looking at a property that is part of a condominium, get an idea of what the monthly condominium fees are so you can be better prepared for the overall cost of owning a home.
Have Any Offers Already Been Made on the Property
If you attend the open house of a property that you are seriously interested in, it’s always a good idea to ask the listing agent about any offers that have already been made on the home. If the property has already received offers, you may want to move quickly on your own offer to make sure it is considered. While a listing agent won’t be able to disclose how much the other offers are for, they will be able to tell you whether your offer will have competition.
Whether you’re attending your first open house or have been to several before, arming yourself with some of these questions can help you get the information you need to know whether a property might be right for you!
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