If you're looking for a new home, open houses are a great ways to get a close up look at the possibilities. However, when you work full time, it can be grueling to schedule weekends full of home viewings. You can make the process easier, more fun, and more efficient if you integrate the following tips.
1. Work With a Real Estate Agent
Working with a real estate agent may be the easiest way forward. These professionals work on commission, and it's in their best financial interest to help you find the home of your dreams as quickly as possible. When you work with a real estate agent, you can let them know about any homes you like to tour, and then, you can let the agent set up the rest.
Take some time to talk about your preferences in terms of style, size, and neighborhood. Then, let the real estate agent mine his or her connections to set up a fun weekend day of open houses.
2. Use Tech Tools to Set Up Your Own Day of Open Houses
You don't need a real estate agent to attend an open house, and in most cases, the selling agent for the home is at the open house, ready to answer your questions. To set up your own day, do online research to find homes for sale with open houses in your area.
You may also want to integrate some tech tools. For example, some real estate sites allow you to save open houses to a calendar. Then, the app organizes the houses based on location to help you plan a route for the day.
If you have collected a list of address you want to see, you may want to use a route planning app. Those apps or web-based programs, let you put in a string of addresses. Then, the program generates a route for you based on the addresses on the list.
3. Be Open to Possibility
Whether you're looking on your own or with the help of a real estate agent, planning is helpful, but you should also be open to surprise situations. A lot of open houses are advertised with signs, arrows, and balloons. If you see an open house that looks intriguing, stop, and look at it. It could be a serendipitous experience that leads you to your dream home.
Make sure to leave a bit of extra leeway in your schedule so you can fit in extra viewings as you bump into them.
4. Bring a Camera and a Notepad
You should also bring a camera and a notepad. That can be a paper notepad or a digital one. Basically, you want the ability to take notes on the properties you see, and you want to be able to pair the notes with photos from your phone or camera. That makes it easier to review the homes after you've toured them.
5. Take a Card From the Real Estate Agent
As indicated above, there will be a real estate agent at most open houses. If you think that you eventually want to learn more about a property, make sure to take a business card or contact details from the real estate agent.
Most agents will also try to obtain your number. That is primarily so they can reach out to you later to sell a home to you. You don't have to give the agent your number if you prefer to keep shopping on your own, but if you anticipate wanting a bit of extra help, you may want to share your contact details as well. There's no commitment.
Finally, remember to stop for lunch, and remember to have fun. Look at homes that are slightly out of your price range or in different neighborhoods just to get the creativity flowing and see what's out there.