Many prospective homebuyers visiting open houses often become enamored with homes touting recent cosmetic updates, such as new appliances or a fresh coat of paint. Buyers should be thorough in their inspection of homes during open houses or showings so they can get the most accurate view of the home's condition. Here are some tips from HGTV's FrontDoor to help homebuyers get the most out of their open house visits.
Be certain to examine the kitchen and bathroom sinks, plumbing fixtures, basement and attic, gutters and foundation. Issues with any of these parts of the home should raise red flags.
You can test plumbing and electrical switches by flipping on light switches and turning on faucets while visiting homes for sale. Later, you should have a home inspector do a more thorough examination.
Also, be sure to pay attention to odors. Some sellers try to mask bad smells with potpourri or candles during an open house, but any foul odors that permeate a home for sale — for instance, smells from a nearby dumpster or highway — could indicate a substantial issue with the residence. If you're suspicious about any odors, ask the REALTOR® holding the open house about it.
If sellers have a room or area they close off to open house guests and you find yourself interested in the home, arrange to meet with the sellers or their Realtor another time to inspect these areas. Though you may like the rest of the house, checking every room in the property is essential prior to making an offer.
Don't forget to scope out the neighborhood. The local school system, attractions, restaurants and businesses should all play a role in helping you decide whether to make an offer on a home.