An open house can be incredibly opportunistic – as long as you’re prepared

Home buying can be a scary process, especially when you’re just starting out. But it doesn’t have to be! The first step is to begin observing your market. Attending open houses is an effective way to do this, but they can be their own battle. If you haven’t attended one as a homebuyer yet, you might become overwhelmed if you’re not prepared.

1. Develop a game plan

You typically attend open houses on the weekends. If you’re giving up a few hours of your Saturday, you might as well schedule out the whole afternoon. Do your research the week before on properties you want to see and schedule your day so you can stop in at multiple open houses throughout the day. This way you can get a better sense of what you’re looking for as quickly as possible.

2. Listen to others

Although other buyers are technically your competition, they might know something you’re not aware of about the area. Maybe the area is known for burglaries or the houses on the block are climbing in value. Take the opportunity to listen in on other’s feelings and reactions to the house. It might bring things to your attention you had not previously realized.

You can tell a lot about the marketability of a home by other buyers’ reactions. If you notice several guests walking in and out of the home quickly, the house probably has some flaws. On the other hand, if buyers are hanging around, asking questions and whispering to their spouses, it could be a good sign the house is well priced and going to be sold quickly.

3. Avoid saying too much

When you’re attending an open house, be sure to bring your poker face. You don’t need to disclose too much about your home search or when you need to move. You certainly don’t need to show any emotion about your feelings on the house. Keep the conversation focused on the facts and details of the property, listen more than you talk. Be wary that the agent works for the seller. You don’t want to say anything that could hurt potential, future negotiations.

4. Be open to the opportunity of a new home…or agent

Some agents can seem too forward when you’re at an open house but you have to remember that, while they’re working on behalf of the seller, they are also looking to meet future clients. Flip it to your advantage as well. If you’re not thrilled with your current realtor or are still looking for the right one, observe them in their element. If you feel like the agent could be someone you’d want to work with, feel him or her out. Ask questions about them, how they feel about the market, what areas they cover, etc. It doesn’t hurt to get their information whether you’re interested in the house or working with them.

If you are in the market—for an agent or a home—Dante Disabato can help you with both. Start the primary search on your own or contact Dante Disabato, who can do it for you. Dante is dedicated to achieving reliable results for all of his customers, as long as you give him the opportunity – online or at an open house.

This material is based upon information which we consider reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such. These offerings are subject to errors, omissions, prior sales, changes, including but not restricted to, price or withdrawal without notice. A buyer should be represented by legal counsel and have a professional inspection and a survey of the property certified to the buyer to verify information contained herein and all other information upon which a buyer may intend to rely. William Raveis Real Estate.