W Henry Estates LLC

Attending an open house: what to look for and questions to ask

When searching to buy a property and attending an open house you want to be prepared. Learn about what you should look for and what questions you need to ask.

In a hot real estate market the only opportunity you may have as a home buyer to view a listing is the open house. Currently houses are selling fast, which means as a buyer you need to act fast to get what you want. Buying a house is a major decision and investment so you need to be prepared to take advantage the opportunity.

Before attending an open house be prepared with questions to ask and know what to look for.

When you walk into an open house it is easy to be overwhelmed as mostly likely there will be other potential buyers, the host (often the listing agent), and you can be distracted by the gorgeous kitchen, but be mindful to look for obvious signs of damage or neglect.

Take a look at the windows

Take a close look at the windows in the home. If there is condensation built up inside the glass it is a sign they are leaky and could need to be replaced. If you notice the paint around them is flaking or even bubbling it is a sign of moisture. Open and close them, if they stick or are hard to open it could be a clue to foundation issues.

Peek at the storage space

Take a peek inside the closets and make sure there is enough space for you. Are there enough cabinets in the kitchen, linen closets, etc.

Look at the appliances 

If they are included in the sale of the home you will want to take notice of their condition and age.

Check under the sink

Take a look under the sinks for any signs of water damage and leaky plumbing. Also look for tiny black spots on the back walls which is an indication of mold.

Look at exposed pipes

Look for any signs of rust or leaking from exposed pipes.

Lift up the rugs

If floors are covered by rugs try to take a little gander underneath to see if they are concealing any damage.

Look up

Stains on the ceiling can indicate a leaking roof. Take notice of the ceiling and walls for any cracks. Small cracks are normal evidence of the home settling but larger cracks could signal an issue with the foundation.

Check out the attic

If the home has an attic verify it is well insulated.

Go in the basement

If the home has a basement look for signs of any past water issues.

So everything looks great, but you have questions, be sure to ask:

  • How motivated are the sellers to sell?
  • Why are they selling?
  • How many offers has the seller received?
  • How much are monthly utilities?
  • What are the neighbors like?

For more information on what to ask and why you want to ask, check out our blog 5 questions to ask when buying a house.

Remember it is a very hot market at the moment and properties are selling fast! Be sure to do your research so you are ready to act quickly to get what you want.