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The Do’s and Don’ts of attending an open house

Dos and Donts of open house

Open house season is here! Whether you’re heading to a lakeside home in Wayzata or a hobby farm in Hudson, here are insights you can use as you tour open houses and determine your offer strategy.

Understand the local market data

Before you head to open houses, look into the stats for each property you’ll visit, and talk with your REALTOR® about what the price and value may mean in today’s strong seller’s market.

Do consider the listing price as a starting point. Because inventory is tight in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, it will be difficult to purchase a home for less than the listing price. If you are looking in a hot neighborhood, search for homes below your price range to ensure you aren’t priced out if the property goes into multiple offers.

Don’t rule out homes that have been on the market awhile. Your natural reaction may be to avoid a Hopkins rambler that was listed four months ago – after all, wouldn’t it have sold if it were a quality property? However, in a competitive market, opening up your criteria may pay off. These properties may require a bit more work or have a few quirks, but it will pay off to be one of a few buyers at an open house in today’s competitive market.

Touch, don’t rummage

When it comes to looking through the home, be sure to thoroughly investigate the property while remaining respectful of the sellers’ privacy.

Do look through storage nooks like closets and cupboards, but don’t dig through them.

Do measure the length and width of different rooms and built-ins, closets and cabinetry.

Do check out the condition of appliances and systems, and ask questions about when they were replaced.

Do check under rugs for flaws in the floors, but don’t pull up carpet to see what’s underneath. (The listing agent should be able to answer that confidently.)

Don’t take photos or videos without asking the listing agent in advance.

Develop a rapport with the listing agent

Do remain friendly and engaging to the agent in charge of the open house. They have the difficult task of enticing buyers and protecting the property from damage or theft, so they may remain close to you as you tour the home. Don’t take this personally – use it as a way to build up a rapport with someone who may eventually have control over the offers.

Don’t give away too much information about your desired home features, price range, neighborhood and more. Any information you divulge to the listing agent or open house agent could be used in negotiations so it’s best to keep your conversations light but complimentary.

Get started

Ready to rock open houses like a pro? Get started with by searching upcoming open houses in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Add in your desired area to find the perfect list of open houses to explore this weekend.


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Status Definitions

For Sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active Contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings