Navigating an Open House: Questions to Ask and Details to Observe


It’s easy to get distracted by beautiful aesthetics when you first enter a perfectly staged home. This article will give you key details


Four Details to Look Out For:

Any signs of damage or neglect: All homes are bound to have some wear and tear, but you want to be on the lookout for obvious signs of damage or neglect. This can be any number of things including:


Warped or stained baseboards that could indicate previous flooding or burst pipes;

  • Hardwood floors hidden under a mountain of rugs where the owners may be hiding damage to the wood;

  • Condensation built up inside the glass of windows, as well as bubbling or flakingpaint. This is a sign that the windows are leaking and will likely need to be replaced and;

  • Cracks in the ceiling, small hairline cracks are normal but larger cracks might indicate a problem with the home’s foundation.

Ample storage: Storage space is an incredibly important feature to look out for! Unless you intend to downsize it is important to make sure the home you are purchasing has enough closets and pantry space to suit your lifestyle.

Natural Air flow and Direct Sunlight: The flow of a home is often something buyers overlook, but there are benefits to making good air flow part of your evaluation criteria. For instance, in the summer opening the windows to take advantage of the breeze will lower your utility bill and good airflow keeps moisture moving through the home and may help reduce or alleviate allergies. The orientation of the windows in the home will determine how much direct sunlight (if any) you will get and what times of day you will get it. For example, having an east-facing patio, deck or balcony can optimize on daylight time when using your outdoor space.


Reactions of other potential buyers: If you notice other buyers not spending a lot of time touring the property, it might mean that the home has some issues. If you notice them consistently lingering to talk to the agent, this might be a sign that the home won’t be on the market for long. You should also pay attention to what other buyers are looking at or talking about, these comments can clue you in to how worthwhile the property is.

Five Important Questions to Ask: What problems are present in the home? Even after getting a definitive answer, you should schedule a home inspection if you are serious about the purchase. The costs to fix undisclosed issues will offset the cost of the home inspection. To protect yourself, include the home inspection and disclosure of the Real Property Report and Compliance Letter, as conditions to your purchase contract.

  • Warped or stained baseboards that could indicate previous flooding or burst pipes; Hardwood floors hidden under a mountain of rugs where the owners may behiding damage to the wood;

  • Condensation built up inside the glass of windows, as well as bubbling or flakingpaint. This is a sign that the windows are leaking and will likely need to bereplaced and;

  • Cracks in the ceiling, small hairline cracks are normal but larger cracks mightindicate a problem with the home’s foundation.

How long has the home been listed? Normally this information is easy to find and gives you an opportunity to get some information indirectly. If the agent indicates that the property is newly listed with a lot of interest, you know to make an offer quickly if you seriously want the home! If the agent indicates that the property has been listed for a while, you can leverage that information when making your offer.


Have there been any price changes?

Price fluctuations indicate that the seller is flexible on the price, and might be willing to drop the price further if you make an offer.

What is the neighbourhood like? This is an important question to ask as you can change the look and feel of your home, but you cannot change the neighbourhood you live in. A similarly important question is what are the schools like?

Why are the owners selling the home? Some agents are willing to tell you why the owners are selling, and this knowledge can also provide you with leverage during negotiations.

Once you have found that perfect place to call home and signed the purchase contract call us at 780-784-8866 to help you through the legal process.


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