What to Ask at an Open House

07/13/2017

open houses

There is an art to navigating an open house. Many people think (as a prospective buyer) that they should just be observant and take mental notes on the things they like/dislike, but an open house is a great opportunity to get more information about the home from the listing agent. Here are the top questions to ask the listing agent at your next open house:

  • Why are the owners selling?: Motivation is really important when it comes to why someone is selling their home. When you ask this question, take note of what kind of response you get from the listing agent. If you notice they’re hesitating or being extremely vague or unclear in their response, take caution as there may be more things wrong with the home than they’re letting on.

  • Any problems?: While some states lawfully require people to disclose any and all problems on a property for sale, other states don’t. So it’s always a good idea to talk to the agent directly about what (if any) problems exist. However it’s still highly recommended to do a home inspection anyway later along in the process if your interest in the property persists.

  • Any price changes?: Knowing if there has been any fluctuation in the home’s price is critical, especially later on in the negotiating process. Homes that are on the market for a long time tend to also lower the asking price in return. Keeping track of all this information can keep you one step ahead.

  • HOA Costs/Assessments?: Many people forget to ask about the Homeowners Association in the early stages of buying a home. It’s important to know what the monthly costs are for the HOA since those can be quite extensive, especially if you’re looking at a property with a lot of shared amenities (pool, gardens, etc). Also, assessments are another cost that can sneak up on you. Ask your listing agent if there have been any assessments recently or if there are any planned.