If you’re buying a home in a competitive real estate market you might be curious what things you can control that will set you apart and set you up for success on offer day.
One thing that is really important is the open house. How you act at open houses and how you interact with the listing agent matters. Keep these dos and don’ts in mind when attending open houses on the weekend.
There are cameras everywhere. If you are in the basement talking to your partner or you think you’re out of earshot from the listing agent know that oftentimes you can be heard. Talking about price, talking about things you don’t like about the house probably won’t help you. Sometimes sellers are listening to what’s going on at their open houses.
While you’re there say nice things about the house and focus on the positives. It’s a great idea to share your positive feedback with the listing agent. If you have concerns or specific questions give those to your buyer’s agent and let them get the answers for you. Save the complete debrief with the person who accompanied you to the open house until you’re out of earshot from the home.
The last thing you want to do is appear to the listing agent to be an overly anxious or worried home buyer. In a competitive situation listing agents will often advise their sellers not to take an offer from someone they feel might get cold feet.
One thing you may want to ask the listing agent while you’re there if they have a full disclosure packet ready. And if so, are there any major call outs that they could speak to regarding the disclosures.
It can help to have an overview of what may need to be fixed. If you’re already at the property the listing agent might be able to show you those things and when you leave the house you have a better understanding of items that may need to be addressed.
Make it a practice to let your agent know on the day you’re done with open houses what you liked and what you didn’t like. Speedy and open communication is really important. If you like the home it’s really important to communicate directly with your buyer’s agent that you’re interested in the house. In a competitive market oftentimes there are buyers who will love the house so much that they will put in an offer the same day they saw it.
If you want to be in the running for the home it’s important for your agent to know right away so they can pull the disclosures and be in contact with the listing agent to let them know that you want to put your hat in the ring. And if they get a preemptive offer that day or in the following days you will be looped in.
If you follow these practices and generally you are a kind, courteous person at open houses you will fare really well in the market. These are things that we can control as buyers so it’s important to keep in mind how you’re presenting yourself and make just sure you’re leaving a really great impression on the listing agent who’s going to be communicating this information to their seller.