The right questions can make the most of an open house

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The right questions can make the most of an open house

June 13, 2011
 
Attending an open house can give home buyers an up close and personal look at their potential dream home, but they are most useful when home buyers know what to ask when they arrive at the property. Whether they have their real estate agent do all the talking or decide to get inquisitive on their own, MSN Real Estate reports home buyers should ask some key questions when attending an open house. These inquiries will give them much more information about a home than they could receive by simply eyeing the property's furnishings or decor.
 
How many other offers have been made?
 
According to MSN Real Estate, it's a good idea for home buyers to know what they are up against. Knowing if there have been any other offers not only lets a home buyer know that they have some competition, but it can also give them a leg up in terms of making their own offer. MSN Real Estate reports a home seller may have rejected a previous offer, and if they find out why, a home buyer could gain the information they need to present an attractive offer on the first attempt.
 
Has the property sat on the market for a while?
 
Gauging the competition can also help home buyers get a feel for how much they'll need to spend to stay in the running. Additionally, MSN Real Estate reports that if a property has been on the market for a long time and hasn't received many offers, a home buyer might be able to catch a great price at the bargaining table.
 
Why is the seller moving?
 
MSN Real Estate reports the seller's real estate agent may not always share this information, but if they do, it can help the home buyer get a feel for where the home seller stands. The homeowner may need to sell the property in a hurry, which could change how much a home buyer offers or how quickly they decide to make an offer.
 
Are there any special rules or costs?
 
According to MSN Real Estate, it also makes sense for home buyers to ask about special regulations or payments if they are moving into a planned community or condominium complex. Some communities may have special rules regarding pets or parking, or they may require monthly fees. The seller's real estate agent can normally provide that information at the open house, according to MSN Real Estate.