When you are searching for a new home, attending open houses can be a valuable tool. Open houses are your chance to gather information, whether it's about the particular home you are in but also about the home buying process in general. If you currently don't have an agent that you are working with, it is a good opportunity to see how the agent holding the open house operates and you can see what he or she can offer you.
It is good to come to an open house prepared. Asking the right questions will go a long way in helping you make the most informed real estate decisions as possible. Ask the agent your questions casually, don't interrogate the agent as that might make it uncomfortable for everyone.
Why are they selling?
Asking this one question will give you several details about the home. Are they selling because of problems with neighbors or are there issues with the home itself.
Are there any problems with the home?
Many states require the sellers to fill out a disclosure document to disclose problems with the house. There are many issues that could affect the home's value that are not visible to the naked eye, such as plumbing and electrical work. Ask the age of the roof, heating system, and about any major work that has been done.
What is the neighborhood like?
Real estate agents are the experts on the area they work in and should be able to be able to provide insight on the school system, traffic, amenities and features of the neighborhood.
Has there been any changes in the listing price?
Fluctuation in the listing price can mean the seller is on a timeline or that they are not getting offers on their asking price. This could mean that there might be some flexibilty on the price.
Asking the right questions at the open house can be very informative and help in making the best real estate decision.