Cindy Gordon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 774-249-4824 | cindygordonhomes@gmail.com


Posted by Cindy Gordon on 5/21/2017

If you're searching for a new home open houses can present many learning opportunities. It's your chance to gather information--not only about the particular home you're touring, but also about buying homes in general. It's also your chance to get used to working with real estate agents to learn what they can offer you. Many people arrive at an open house with an open mind. This isn't a bad thing, but it is good to be prepared with some questions for the agent. In this article, we'll talk about some important questions that will help you make the most informed real estate decisions as possible. But first, let's talk open house preparation in general.

Open House Etiquette

Many people expect to be pounced upon by an agent at an open house like a salesman in a furniture store. However, you'll most likely find that the agent is hands-off at the open house, letting you take a look around unbothered. Here are some tips for good open house etiquette to leave a good impression as a potential buyer.
  • Sign in to the guestbook. Or, if you do decline, do it politely
  • Ask for permission before you take photos
  • Ask the real estate agent your questions casually and give them time to speak with other guests--interrogating the agent will make it an uncomfortable meeting for everyone
  • Save probing questions or criticism until you leave. You'll get a chance to speak with the agent again, but don't want to seem rude at your first meeting.

Top Five Questions

  1. Why are the owners selling the home? This one question will give you several details about the home. If they are selling because of the neighbors or problems with the home this question will give you insight into those important buying factors.
  2. Has the listing price changed?  Fluctuation in the price of the home can mean the seller is on a timeline or that the house isn't receiving any offers at the original price. This information could mean that there is some flexibility in the price of the home.
  3. Are there any problems with the home? Most states require the seller to disclose problems with the house. There are many issues that could affect the value of a home that aren't in plain sight, such as plumbing and electrical work. Don't be afraid to ask when the last time the roof was repaired or when any other major work was done on the house.
  4. What is the neighborhood like?  If you aren't familiar with the area you're moving into this is a very important question to ask. Real estate agents should be experts on the area they work in and will be able to give you information about noise levels, schools, traffic, and so on.
  5. What is the cost of utilities?  Everyone uses different amounts of electricity and water. That being said, each home also has its own level of efficiency. If the home has outdated lighting and appliances or if the faucets let out a high volume of water, you might be surprised at how much your future utility bills will be.





Posted by Cindy Gordon on 4/2/2017

Even the best real estate agents can't share important facts about your house the way that you can. You know what it's like to actually live in your house. Only you know if the refrigerator runs after the door has been open for at least a minute. You know if the house makes settling noises late at night. Soft spots in the floor, and how well the house heats during winter and cools during summer are more facts that you're privy to.

Sharing your house's inside history, builds buyer trust. But, be careful. As you share facts and history about your house, you might fall in love with your house all over again and start second guessing whether you should let your house go.

Home buyers want to do more than walk thru your house

When house shoppers start asking you about closing costs, if you have pets and when you'd like to move into your new home, it's time to start sharing important information with them. Doing so could speed up a house sale. Information to share includes:

The personality of the neighbors. Similar to how authors describe the personalities of characters in their bestselling novels, introduce potential buyers to the neighbors. Skim the surface, letting prospects know if neighbors are quiet, social or tougher to get to know. This is where having great neighbors pays off hugely.

Just as you'd let house shoppers know if you have pets, let potential buyers know if most of the neighbors have pets. If pets are well trained, not aggressive and stay in their yards, share this. It could put people who are uncomfortable around large pets at ease, especially if these potential buyers heard dogs barking as they drove up the street to your open house.

Don't keep house shoppers in the dark

Don't stop there. Tell house shoppers where malls and hit stores are, including how far these hot spots are from your house. If you live near hot spots, this alone could attract buyers who love being at the center of exciting events.

Although prospects will see key features about your house as they walk through it, they won't catch everything. Tell people who are interested in buying your house about the extra storage space that buyers can't see right away and often miss.

Have a finished basement or a finished attic? Let buyers know. It could make the difference between losing a house sale or closing a deal. Buyers may be looking for extra space that can be used as a guest room, extra bedroom or home office.

Show off gorgeous outdoor views. Share stories about renovations you performed on your house since you purchased it. Share stories about experiences you created at the house that caused you to love the house. For example, you could tell buyers that your first child was born in the house or that you started you operated your first business out of the house.

Let house shoppers know where nearby airports and other forms of public transportation like trains, subways and buses are. Buyers may not be a two-car family. Knowing that you live near reliable public transportation could seal the deal.

Talk with your real estate agent about inside history that you're considering sharing with potential home buyers. Do this before you speak with people who are interested in buying your house. Your realtor may have ideas on how you can present the history, offering house shoppers honesty and engagement.