Whether you’re a seller or a buyer, an open house in real estate is exciting. If you’re putting your property on the market, an open house is the moment where you put your home out there for potential buyers to see, and hopefully lock down a sale. If you’re a buyer, you’re looking for houses open for inspection today, all with the vision to find a place to call your own.
While open houses can feel like the stuff dreams are made of, the reality is that you need a bit of preparation if you want to get the best deal. Here’s a rundown of what you should prepare before going into a house inspection — both from the buyer and the seller’s perspective.
Preparing for new home inspections as a buyer
When you go to inspect real estate, it’s easy to get swept up in imagining your life there or going with your ‘gut feeling’. But when you’re visiting houses open for inspection with the intention to buy, it’s important to find out as much as you can about the property, so you’re armed with all the information before deciding to make an offer.
If you’re heading to open homes today, here are three considerations to add to your house inspection checklist:
Find out why they’re selling — First things first: why is the seller moving? If they’re selling because they got a new job in a new city or are upsizing, then great. But if they’re putting the property on the market because the maintenance fees are too expensive or because the neighbourhood isn’t quite right, this is something you should thoroughly think through before making an offer.
Ask when the house was built, and if there have been repairs/renovations — While older homes have more charm, they also come with their own set of possible issues — which is why it’s important to understand when or if any repairs have been made. Ask if the pipes, roof, electrical system, plumbing or windows have been replaced recently. If not, consider that these may need to be updated after you buy the property.
Look at how long the property has been on the market — If it’s only been open for inspection for a month or so and has several offers already, it shows that competition is hot and you may need to start with a strong offer to be considered for further negotiations.
Preparing for a property inspection as a seller
As a seller, what is an open house in real estate? It’s your moment to shine. Once you say you’re open for inspections today, your home needs to dazzle prospective buyers and get them excited about the prospect of living in the property.
You want to give them every reason to buy and no reason not to — which means you need to pay attention to detail and prepare your home well to sell quickly, and for a good price.
If you’re gearing up for open inspections, here are three things you should add to your property inspection checklist:
Use space effectively — The most important step when preparing for an open house is to get rid of clutter. A clean, decluttered house looks bigger, which makes a huge difference when selling your home. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of at least half of your furniture (or store it somewhere else!).
Sort out any maintenance issues — Nobody wants a property that looks like it’s been unkempt for years — not to mention, if a buyer believes your house needs major repairs, they might ask you to cover the cost. Fix any leaky faucets, cracked tiles, or broken windows, and replace all the light fixtures and or faulty switches. At the same time, a fresh coat of paint goes a long way in making your property look new and well-cared for.
Let in natural light — A dark home is off-putting to buyers, so make sure your home is making the most out of the natural light available. Remove or pull back any unnecessary blinds, drapes, or curtains. Another option is to add warm tone light bulbs and spot lamps to light up your home where it’s needed.
Upside Open for Inspections at the time of COVID-19
The health and safety of our clients is of utmost importance to us, and we’ve been closely monitoring the situation and reviewing our approach to help support you by ensuring we provide the right environment that meets the criteria of a safe place as defined by health authorities.
Our processes will now also include:
Our local agents already work from home, and only travel to home appraisal appointments, or to meet with their clients, and manage open homes and auctions. We are now providing the option for our buyers and sellers to communicate virtually with their Upside agents over digital devices for any real estate services they may require.
We are also working with UberRE to bring virtual open houses to vendors. Unlike other virtual walk-through products in the market, offerings are more secure for the vendor and aids in allowing our agents to generate offers as buyers need to sign into the virtual open home in the way that they would have to for a physical one.
We are asking our clients who are feeling sick, or have travelled to any high-risk areas to not attend our open homes for 14 days and instead contact their agent over the phone with any inquiries they may have. When attending homes for appraisals, as well as managing open for inspections, we will be asking clients if they have been overseas in the last two weeks.
When attending homes for appraisals, as well as managing open for inspections, we will be asking clients if they have been overseas in the last two weeks.
RELATED: An important update about COVID-19
Thinking of selling your home? Book in your free, no-obligation (and virtual if you'd prefer!) appraisal with one of Upside’s expert local agents now. We’ll help you save thousands with our low fixed-rate fee and no commission — plus we’ll help get your home ready to shine during your open home inspection.