5 Things Home Buyers Learn from Open Houses

Vicki Moore
Vicki Moore
Published on October 18, 2018

As a home buyer, you can learn a lot at open houses.  Realtors know the areas they sell very well so they can tell you about upcoming events, proposed construction, local politics and about the house itself.  You may even hear comments from neighbors who stop by to see the house – they’re a great source of info!

I recently sold a house where there were so few houses on that part of the street that not even other realtors knew that you can walk out the back gate to a popular walking/biking trail that goes to the elementary school and the shopping center at the bottom of the hill.  That was a great tidbit!

If you haven’t found a realtor to help you with your home buying process, open houses are a really good way to have a chance to talk to a realtor to see if they’d be a good fit in helping you buy a home.  You can see what they know about the area you like, how knowledgeable they are about real estate, and if you like their communication style.

Things Home Buyers Learn from Open Houses #1:  The real estate market 

Researching online is the right place to start and is, of course, very helpful, but making open house visits will help you get an up to the minute feel for the real estate market and visually compare home values with their listed prices and, eventually, their sale prices.  How many people are coming in and how long the house has been for sale are good indicators of the activity level of your local real estate market.  And, after just one open house, you’ll know that those online photos hide a lot blemishes.

Things Home Buyers Learn from Open Houses #2:  Behavior of other buyers

You can learn about the real estate market and the appeal of the house by observing and talking to other interested buyers.   If they’ve been in the market longer than you have, you can pick up tips about pitfalls they might have experienced or suggestions about things to focus on when buying a home.  Observing the excitement and interest level of other buyers will give you insight into the level of competition on the property which can allow you to make calculated decisions about pricing.

Things Home Buyers Learn from Open Houses #3:  Ask a lot of questions

Use the open house visit as an opportunity to ask as many questions concerning the neighborhood and the house as possible. Even if you’re not necessarily interested in that house, there’s always something helpful you can learn.  Being friendly and inquisitive can get you a lot of helpful information.

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Things Home Buyers Learn from Open Houses #4: Identify talented agents and create a relationship 

Use the open house visits to identify talented agents. Discussing the home you’re looking at will help provide you with some insight into their experience and understanding of the housing market, their friendliness and their willingness to help. If you happen to like them, ask questions such as their general view on the real estate market and their general success as an agent. This is essentially an informal setting to interview the potential agent you might ultimately work with. So by all means, introduce yourself to them and express your interest in working with them!

Even if you’re not ready to buy a home just yet, open house visits will open up your prospective options and expand your knowledge on the current housing market. This can be helpful for you to be efficient in planning for your future purchase. Feel free to ask a lot of questions.  This is a no pressure opportunity to learn as much as you can which will increase your comfort level about buying a home and the status of the local real estate market.

Things Home Buyers Learn from Open Houses #5:  Neighbors and Neighborhoods

On the weekend, you can see who’s home and what they’re doing.  How many and the type of cars parked nearby will tell you the makeup of the neighborhood too.  It will give you a chance to have a quick, friendly conversations with neighbors to find out how long they’ve lived there and what they think of the neighborhood.  Asking questions like that will tell you if you’ll feel comfortable there and whether it’ll be a good fit for you to make it your home.

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Are you thinking of buying a home or selling your home in the Silicon Valley Real Estate Market?   If you haven’t hired a top producing Northern California real estate agent yet, contact me, and I’d be happy to discuss the real estate market history and the current state of the local market!

About the author:  The above video “5 Things Home Buyers Learn from Open Houses” was provided by Vicki Moore of eXp Realty California.  With over 20 years of experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise. We service the following Northern California areas: Roseville, Rocklin, Granite Bay, San Mateo, Foster City, Pacifica, Burlingame, San Carlos, Belmont, Redwood City.

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