Going to a real estate open house is a favorite experience for many people seeking a home. Whether you're in the market to buy a home, or just simply curious, open houses provide a chance to see what's out there without a commitment.
If you're new to open houses, and not quite sure about what the actual role of the agent holding the open house is, we've got the answers and some helpful suggestions to get the most out of your open house visit.
Not all real estate agents host open houses in the same way, making to hard to know exactly who will be welcoming you in the door. Your host could be the listing agent, a buyer's agent, a neighbor, or even the seller themselves.
Open house etiquette does not require you to ring the doorbell or knock before entering the home, though if the agent is not immediately in view, calling out a hello is advisable to avoid startling your host.
Once inside the house, don't be afraid to simply ask if the host of the open house is the listing agent. Frequently, the agent hosting will not be the actual listing agent, but an associate agent who will be hoping to represent the buyer of the home, or another home of their choice. If you already have an agent representing you, and do not wish to be solicited, the easiest way to avoid the situation is to walk in with your agent's card in hand, and give it to the agent holding the open house.
However, if you have not yet chosen an agent to represent you, you might want to let the agent at the open house know. Open houses are actually one of the best places to find a buyer's agent, because you can meet them face to face and get a sense of their personality and professionalism. If you find that you have a rapport with the agent, you could easily take the next step and begin interviewing them to determine if they're the right person to represent you.
If you're not quite ready to buy, but still are curious about a home that's having an open house, don't be hesitant to go ahead and visit anyway. If you let the agent know you're not currently inclined to buy, you can still tour the house. Doing so can often help you narrow down the features you desire most in a home, and help you decide what size mortgage you'll need to calculate for.
In addition, if you're a curious neighbor to an open house, there's no need for hesitance either. Agents love showing homes to neighbors and get your opinion and feedback. You're a valuable source of information for them.
Open houses are not the only way to prepare to look for your dream home. Lender 411 offers a wealth of tools and information for shoppers to help springboard you into your new home!
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