Buyer Tips for National Open House Weekend
The National Association of Realtors has designated this coming weekend, April 28 & 29 2012 as National Open House Weekend. In light of that upcoming event, I thought it would be timely to re-post my Open House Tips for Buyers.
There is always much debate surrounding open houses and whether or not they are a good way to sell a house. I have attended many open houses with buyers and have had buyers purchase homes they have viewed at an open house.
However, buyers should be aware that the agent at the open house represents the Seller. Their job is to sell that house - and if not, to find buyers to work with as new clients.
Sometimes buyers go into an Open House and fall in love with the house and decide this may be "the one." I find it's best to prepare for that possible scenario and so have put together some Open House Tips for Buyers.
- Get a mortgage preapproval before looking. If you fall in love with that house, you want to be able to move quickly. I know you think you are "just looking" but you never know when you might find the right one.
- Find a buyer agent to work with. The tips below help to underscore why it is so important to have a buyer agent before looking at houses for sale.
- Disclose to the agent holding the Open House if you are working with a buyer agent. Usually there is a sign-in sheet and there is a place to fill in that information. It is only fair to the agent at the Open House to let them know you already have representation.
- Ask your buyer agent to meet you at the Open House (that negates the need for the tip above!). Your buyer agent is trained to look for details you may miss and to provide expertise on pricing, location and value so do not discount the value of having another set of eyes with you at the Open House.
- If you are really "just looking" and do not have a buyer agent yet, disclose to the listing agent that you are going to be working with a buyer agent. There is no harm in checking off the box that you have a buyer agent and not filling in the name in contact information. You have the right to your own representation and it is only fair to disclose to the listing agent your intentions up front.
- Do not make any comments at all when attending an open house. Remember that the agent at the Open House works for the Seller and has a fiduciary duty only to the Seller. If you end up making an offer on this house and have discussed your opinion with the agent at the Open House, the seller's agent now has some information to use to his/her client's advantage. After all, the seller's agent is there to represent the Seller, not you, the buyer.
- If you find you want to make an offer, having your buyer agent by your side will put you in the position of making an offer that is written in the buyer's best interests. This will be much easier if you have a buyer agent before attending that Open House!
Whether you are searching for a home in Canton MA, a home in Milton MA or a surrounding community, a buyer agent can help you with the home search process from start to finish. Contact your Canton MA Buyer Broker for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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Christine Smith is an Attorney and Exclusive Buyer Agent with over 25 years of experience in the real estate field.
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