What Should You Ask at an Open House?

Posted by on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 2:02pm

Have you attended an open house without a clue what type of questions you should be asking? This can be difficult for some because they've never been through the buying process. For others, they seem to know exactly what to ask at an open house. Here are a few questions you should consider asking next time you attend an open house.

How Long Has the Home Been on the Market?

Asking how long the home has been on the market will tell you whether or not the seller might be ready to receive a lower offer compared to their listing price. If it's new to the market, your offer may need to be a bit different compared to a home that has been on the market for a few months.

Does the Home have Other Offers?

If the home has offers on it, you may need to up your offer a bit to compete. Of course, that's assuming you really want the home and are willing to pay a little more.

Does the Property have Liens Against it?

This is very important and will make a difference with your mortgage. You don't want to find surprises, such as tax liens or construction liens. However, if it does have liens against it, this doesn't mean you cannot buy it. The process may just be a bit different.

Will an Appraisal Support the Value?

Along with this question, you should follow up with asking about the comparable sales in the past 90 days. This is important because if an appraisal won't match or exceed the value of the list price, you will struggle to get the mortgage approved.

Why is the Owner Selling the Home?

Understanding why a home is being sold will make a difference, too. If the seller needs to unload the house fast, you might be able to make a smaller offer and get it for a lower price. However, if the seller isn't motivated to sell, you may need to offer the list price to get the home.

These are just a few of the questions you should consider asking at an open house. You have to dig deeper than the features of the home if you're serious about making an offer.

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