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Open Houses for Buyers: 4 Easy Steps to Beat the Competition

If you want to buy a house, one of the best ways to find the right one is to go to open houses as a buyer. Here are four useful steps to finding a home that you love with the open house.

Open Houses: 4 Steps to Get the Jump on the Competition

1. Use Timing to Hit Several Open Houses in a Row

It’s helpful to use timing to your advantage. Plan a route that helps you hit a number of open houses consecutively. Since open houses most often take place on the weekend, it’s wise to start planning on Thursday or Friday. Look to online and mobile resources for a timely database of homes for sale. The MLS Listing Service is usually updated every 15 minutes with new properties, while scrubbing for duplicates, sold, and pending homes.

2. Explore Your Area of Interest

Think ahead about the areas you really care about. You’ll be able to find homes within a certain price range, number of bedrooms, and a host of other key parameters through online databases and smartphone apps. This will help you pinpoint the kinds of homes that are worth seeing in person, filtered first and foremost by the locations you would truly consider living in.

3. Take Notes on Homes and Rate Them

While you’re at an open house, be sure to take notes and start rating them against each other. If you don’t do this until you get home, it’s going to be very difficult to remember which houses for sale are at the top of your list. Whether you use a mobile app, a tablet word processor, or a good old-fashioned pen and paper, write down your thoughts about each home so you’ll be able to put in confident and timely offers on the homes you really love.

4. Set Up Notification Systems

There are apps like the realtor.com app that will notify you of price changes for listings you’ve saved, so you can act quickly on the latest information. The same system can work by passing along your preferred list of real estate for sale to the agent or broker of your choice. Regardless of how you do it, keeping tabs on changes in the status of different homes for sale is a key way of pouncing on a great deal.

All it takes is a few open houses under your belt before you start to understand which houses for sale are out there. That makes it easier to recognize the right home when it pops up. Along with strategic attendance of open houses, ensure that your finances are in order ahead of time and you’ll be able to act quickly when the time comes to put in an offer on the house of your dreams.

Happy house hunting!

Source: Realtor.com / Leslie Piper

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