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Six Open House Tips For Buyers


Inspecting property has its fair shares of do’s and don’ts but by following our open house tips, tricks and general etiquette, half the battle is already won.

In this day and age, the era of potential buyers driving around on a Saturday morning looking at open homes isn’t what it once was. However, the process isn’t quite extinct yet, so it’s still important to understand how this part of selling a property works.

According to data from the National Association of Realtors, only 7% of all recent buyers purchased property via a street front open home sign. While a significantly larger percentage of those buyers found their home online (50%) or via their real estate agent (28%).  It’s worth noting that 53% of the same buyers still used information from an open house to make a decision as to whether they would buy the property or not.

Needless to say, the pictures never quite do a property justice, which is why open house tips are still worth paying attention to if you want to make the most out of a physical inspection – but what are the do’s and don’ts worth noting?

Our Open House Tips for Potential Buyers

Whether you’re doing the old school drive by, or already have your eye on a property that you first discovered online, if you’re ready to attend it’s scheduled open home day then there’s already something about the house that has caught your attention.

Once you’ve made it past the signs, balloons and of course, other potential buyers, there’s a few open house tips to follow to maximise the limited time available in the property itself. After all, this is your chance to really envision yourself as this property’s new owner, as well as taking a look around for things that may not be on the brochure.

Do: Your Research – Have you checked to see how much houses are selling for in the neighbourhood, if there are any potential flood zones, what school catchment you would fall under, and if there’s new property developments in the pipeline near the home in question? Be sure to research all of this before you visit the open home inspection.

Do: Ask Questions – The real estate agent is quite literally there to sell the property, so go to town and ask as many relevant questions as you like. Consider asking if the space has been renovated and when, why the owners are selling, how long the property has been on the market, and if there are any known issues (that they’re willing to disclose).

Do: Look For Potential Issues – Now is your opportunity to check and see any potential issues that you may take on in the event that you buy the home in question. Try to keep an eye out for any leaks, squeaks, cracks and mould, along with checking out the quality of the materials used, the home’s foundations, and take photos with permission.

Don’t: Criticise – While it’s pretty normal to find flaws in someone else’s property, it’s just downright rude to verbalise these loudly in front of both potential buyers and the real estate agent. Take notes on your discoveries, and discuss with the agent in private away from other people or on the phone after the inspection.

Don’t: Make A Mess – There’s a lot of work that goes into making a property presentable for an open home day, so don’t bring muddy shoes, food or beverages that could potentially spill, kids or pets if you can avoid it. While you’re welcome to make yourself at home, or at least envision it, don’t jump on the bed and try not to mess up the property’s presentation.

Don’t: Go Snooping – While it’s perfectly normal to bring a tape measure and open cupboards or rooms to measure an area, don’t go rifling through the current owner’s personal possessions. Selling property can be an emotional experience, and you don’t know why they are selling, or even if they want to. Be respectful of someone else’s space.

Above all, the most valuable open house tips we can offer is to use your common sense – be patient, do your research, keep a poker face and an open mind, and be ready to make an offer should the property tick all of your boxes.

One of the best things that potential buyers can do when inspecting open homes is to be armed with a pre-approval. While a pre-approval doesn’t lock you into the loan, the assessment from the lending provider lasts for three to six months, and shows sellers that you’re a serious buyer, with eligibility to lock in a loan up to a certain amount – so how do you get one?

Get The Right Advice and Pre-Approval the First Time

With a background in banking, finance, business development and project management, there’s no better advocate to have on your team than Nikki Berzin. As a fully qualified mortgage broker and director of Cherry Lending & Finance, Nikki is passionate about all things finance, and empowering her clients with the tools to hit their property goals is what she does best.

If you’re looking to get into your first home, purchase an investment property or even want to look at your options for refinancing, the first step is starting the conversation. Get in touch with Nikki today, or call her directly on 0427 374 155 to bring your mortgage dreams to life.

Disclaimer: Your full financial needs and requirements need to be assessed prior to any offer or acceptance of a loan product.  Subject to lenders terms and conditions, fees and charges and eligibility apply.