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6 things to keep in mind when visiting an open house

By Andrew Bell

When a home is on the market, the seller will generally hold an open house to make sure would-be buyers have the opportunity to fully inspect the property. This is your opportunity to fully evaluate the home, the yard and more, so you should take full advantage, showing up to give yourself plenty of time to give everything a thorough once-over.

What should you keep in mind as you proceed through the property? We have some suggestions:

1) There's no such thing as 'too many questions'

Given that buying a home is such a huge investment, you should ask plenty of questions about the property, its condition and more, according to Realestate.com.au. There is, however, such a thing as questions which are too personal or insensitive. You need to be mindful that even if you're buying a home, there are some things that aren't really germane to the conversation with its seller.

2) You should check every nook and cranny

Now is the time to fully examine every square centimetre of the property to make sure everything is as good as it initially appears. In addition to looking in every closet and crawl space, you should also check for any creaky stairs, floorboards or doors, as this could be proof of a general lack of maintenance in the home.

3) Think about privacy

One thing that might not initially occur to you, but which could be a major source of annoyance after buying a home is how much privacy the property affords you. As Money Crashers pointed out, you may find that you can see into your neighbours' windows — and they can see into yours. Does that mean you'll have to draw the blinds every day? Should you have a fence for the backyard? What's the noise level like? These are all important considerations first-timers might overlook.

4) Consider the neighbours (and neighbourhood)

Speaking of the people who live around you, it can be wise to get a good idea of what it's like to deal with them. Are they courteous? Do they have parties at all hours of the night? What about traffic? Are you near train tracks or under an airport's flight paths? All of these considerations can have a big impact on your quality of life if you buy the home.

5) Try to make a good impression

As you go through a property, keep in mind that, ultimately, this is also a good chance for the seller to get to know you a little bit, and you need to make a positive first impression, Opendoor advised. After all, they will be deciding on your bid and, if you come across well, they might be more inclined to accept it rather than other potential buyers with similar offers.

6) Look at the competition

Finally, you should also scope out the other would-be buyers who stop into the open house. Do they seem seriously interested? If so, how will that affect your bidding strategy? The good news is that you're all in the same boat, more or less, but you may be able to take note of the questions they ask (and what the answers are) to gain an edge.

It can also be a good idea to have a buyer's agent at your side as you tour various homes during your search. At Ray White Surfers Paradise, we've closed countless home sales for our buyers, much to their satisfaction. We would love to be able to do the same for you, so get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can aid you in your home search.

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