Tuesday Tips: Walking Through an Open House


It’s open house season! Summer is filled with open houses every weekend.
When Realtors walk through a home there are many things we are looking for to help our buyers make a well informed decision about the home they may want to purchase.

Many home buyers tour open houses without a Realtor. Its OK to do this of course, but you should have a Realtor tour the home with you if you should decide you may want to write an offer on the home. A savvy Realtor will know what questions to ask, what things to look for, to research, and/ or negotiate.

If you are going through open houses without a Realtor you may want to consider some of these important tips while touring the home.

Structure and Mechanical s:

There are 3 features in the home that will most likely be the most expensive fixes/repairs. These are the roof, furnace, and windows. So make sure to check all of these to see if they have been replaced or ask the host of the open house if he/she knows the ages of them.

As a buyer, you want to make sure the basement is free of moisture or water. Pay attention to the smell of the basement once you enter, does it smell musty? Do they have a de-humidifier running? A de-humidifier shows us that the basement gets moisture or musty smelling, and this is why the sellers run it. Look for water spots around the baseboards and walls. If you do spot water damage, be sure to ask what the water damage was from and what they did to fix the issue.

Certain foundation cracks can be a major issue to your home. Be sure to check all walls in the basement. If the basement is finished (dry walled, etc.), it will be impossible to spot foundation cracks. However, you can look for these in the unfinished area. If a wall has drywall, plaster, or paneling, you can see if any of these are bowing inward anywhere. If you see anything that looks concerning, ask the host about it, and have your Realtor look at it with you on another private showing.

Seller’s Disclosures:

Seller’s Disclosure statements are documents that sellers need to provide to buyers by law. You should ask the host of the open house if they have a copy of these statements. These describe the state of the property. Sellers need to disclose if they have ever had water in the basement, electrical issues, plumbing issues etc.


In this sellers’ market, it’s common to have many offers on a home after one day of it being listed. So ask the host if the sellers have any offers at the time you walk through. Also see if there is a deadline that all offers need to be in by. If you love the house, you wouldn’t want to end up missing out on submitting an offer.

I hope these tips truly help you when you are walking through an open house. If you need help or have questions about any of your Real Estate concerns, please give me a call. It would be my pleasure to help you make a wise decision on your new home purchase.

Sue Prins
Sue Prins Team
Five Star Real Estate

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