Make the Best of Open Houses in Colorado Real Estate
Open houses are a time honored tradition in real estate. They offer easy, scheduled viewings, property and price comparisons and more. Check the condition of a property and how it affects price. Keep up with your Realtor® and see if properties you’ve seen have sold, and for how much, especially in reference to list price. Did they sell for over, under, or at list price?
You may not find the property you buy during an open house excursion, but the education could be well worth a few hours on a Saturday. Following a stream of signs on a whim could begin your relationship with your Realtor®. Open houses should be approached with a reasonable expectation and an enthusiasm that anything could happen. And if it doesn’t, well, you probably learned something.
This article has a few tips to maximize the benefits of going to open houses in Colorado real estate, for buyers and sellers.
Open houses are mostly visited by buyers. But, it makes sense, if you are going to put your property on the market, to check out any open houses that pop up in that neighborhood. It’s solid research as to what the market might bring you in the sale of your home. Plus, a hyper-localized view of what is happening as close to your property as possible can be very helpful. A three bedroom in Midtown Fort Collins is probably going to have a different, look feel and price than one in Old Town. One hour of open housing can show you where people are asking for what.
Open houses are traditionally held to attract buyers. So, as a buyer, keep these three things in mind as you go open housing.
Is it a Yes?
If it’s a yes, great! Write an offer. If you are in the market to buy a home, that time will come when you find that home. It’s exciting and doesn’t matter if you found it via open house or Internet listing. If it’s a yes, it’s a yes. Congratulations!
Don’t tip your hand
You really want it? Great. Lips closed. Don’t share anything with the agent holding the home open. If it’s their listing, it might not help negotiations if they know you are dying to have it.
If you want it, tell your Realtor®. While you are in the property, mum’s the word. Dream in your head. Inspect silently. Get with your Realtor®.
If it’s a no, then, why not? Learn what you like and what you don’t, and write it down for your Realtor®.
Don’t just walk out. Look at the property. Walk through most rooms. Spend a few moments in the home, and, if at all possible, keep an open mind.
Don’t try to make your “No” a “Yes”.
Don’t buy what you don’t want. But you can learn from what you don’t want so you get to what you do want more quickly.
So, if it’s a solid “No,” look at each part of the home. Write notes. Really write them, even as just a note on your phone. After days and weeks of open housing, it’s less helpful to say “That one feature in that one house…you know…the ranch. With the…thing?”
123 Main St. Anytown, USA – NO – but liked the kitchen island. Hated the bathroom. Not enough privacy in backyard.
With a simple address and reference to the room, I could probably help you go back and maybe even find a photo of the feature so we know that it’s on your list as something you like or don’t like.
If I am your Realtor®, I’ll use those notes and my wonderful real estate computer programs and knowledge to point you in a more accurate direction.
Plus, you are going to want to remember your thoughts for a few reasons. Even if a property is a “No”, there might be an element you love. We will look for that in the future. Also, it might change the way you shop for a property. It will educate you on what you can expect. For example, the kitchen in a certain home was too small for you. But your price range limits the square feet that you can purchase, so a lot of the kitchens that you are seeing are small for your taste. Open houses, seeing properties, actually walking in things that are for sale is very helpful in matching the reality of what you can get with what you are expecting and hoping for.
Maybe is beautiful, because within it lie the seed of hope. Eye roll. But it’s true.
How strong is that “Maybe?” At this point, get with your Realtor®.
If you sleep on it, you might sleep in it.
It’s my pleasure to share that Colorado real estate cliche. Usually used for sellers, what it means is that offers go away. Properties go away. If “maybe” you’d be very disappointed if you didn’t have this property, it might be time to consider turning that “maybe” into a “yes” and acting on it right away.
If you could take it or leave it, cool. Chill, watch and see. Maybe that property will be available in a month, and the seller will be more motivated to do a deal.
Have an Agent or Realtor® already? Announce it, upon arrival
If you have a signed Exclusive Right to Buy with an agent already, tell the person holding the home open. Sign in and write your agent’s name, too. They want to know. I want to know. It’s helpful and I won’t be offended.
Must we sign in and leave our information?
That’s up to the agent or person holding the property open.
Beyond your name, I don’t require open housers to tell me anything. I do ask for a name to be written down, and I look at it. When alone in a property with a stranger, I’m not naturally suspicious…unless you don’t seem to want me to know who you are.
Then, because I am naturally curious and want to be of service, and I want people to know how I can serve them, how my website can serve them, and how my brokerage, RE/MAX Alliance can serve them, I ask as many questions as seem appropriate. The best way for you to learn what I do is to leave contact information. The information I follow up with is like this article—helpful.
Dealing with the agent holding the house open
Is is it Colorado real estate agents’ practice to find clients in open houses? Yes. What of it? It’s a perfect place for me to find people who need my service.
Plus, if you are unrepresented, what a great way to feel out an agents vibe. If they aren’t for you, they aren’t for you. If it’s a maybe, then leaving your information is a great way to have a second meeting, see what email I’ll send, see how I follow up. If you are going to hire an agent, it’s good practice to interview a few. Open houses are a good way to start that search.
Referral is better, but, open houses are still good.
You are being recorded
Probably. Cameras are so cheap, audio recorders even cheaper, I just act as if the cameras are on from the time I step on to the property. Keep this in mind when discussing excitement or terms of a deal. Lips closed. Let the hamster turn the wheel in your head. Get with your Realtor®.