Questions to Ask When Attending Open Houses

If you’re a potential homebuyer, there are a number of questions you should ask the listing agent about each home. Here are seven questions to ask when attending Open houses that will help you get a better feel for the space while learning more about it in the process. When you’re ready to shop for a new home, here are seven questions to ask when attending open houses.

open house - house for sale

  1. Why is the house for sale? Ask why the sellers are moving to find out the reason why the home is on the market. That may give you some insights into the timing and motivations of the sellers.
  2. Has the home’s price been stable? By finding out how much the price has fluctuated since the house was put on the market, you’ll find out whether the price is flexible when it comes time to make an offer.
  3. How many offers have been made on the house? Ask whether there’s an offer on the table when you walk in the door. If you mention the pending offers on the place, the listing agent might be pleased to tell you about them, because your bid could drive up the price.
  4. How long has the home been on the market? If you ask when the home was listed, you’ll gain insight into the house and the real estate market as a whole. The agent can put the number in context for you while disclosing information about the level of interest in the place.
  5. Does the house come with any problems? Inquire about issues to get an idea about the last time the house was updated. Given that home renovations can be costly, learn about problem areas ahead of time, and then check them out while you’re at the house.
  6. What’s the home’s average cost for utilities? When you inquire about the estimated cost of utilities, make sure you have room in your budget. Get the agent to show you the most recent bills to get a better idea of monthly and yearly expenses.
  7. When are the sellers looking to close on this house? Learn the timeline for closing on the home to find out what the sellers want. If you know an offer could be chosen based on its time frame, you could gain an advantage if the owners want to sell quickly.

With these seven questions in mind, you’ll be ready to make a better assessment of each home. An open house is your chance to ask as many questions as you can about the property. When you’re ready to make the most of the home-buying process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

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Five New and Improved Ways to Protect Your Home

While most people know that the best way to keep your family and home safe is to install an alarm system, new innovations in home security have made older alarm packages nearly obsolete. Because of this, it is important to know about all the must-have features for today’s home security systems before you start looking to buy and/or upgrade your current home’s security features. This includes easy, do-it-yourself additions, as well as more complex systems that may require the assistance of a professional.home security

Security Feature #1: Video Surveillance Systems

While video surveillance systems have been in use for years, new advances have made them far more reliable and useful. You will be able to tap into your home’s video system from your laptop, phone or tablet, making it easy to monitor the interior and exterior of your home on the go.

Security Feature #2: Doorbell Cameras

Many newer doorbells are equipped with cameras or video surveillance. For example, one popular model will send a photo to your phone every time someone steps onto your front porch. This will let you know who is there before you even open the door. This can be useful for security purposes, but also for more mundane purposes. For example, if you know that your visitor is just the delivery man dropping off a package, you will not need to rush to open the door.

Security Feature #3: Door Chimes

Many security systems will allow you to set a door chime to go off every time a door is opened or closed. This is useful because it is active at all times — not just when the alarm system is armed. Having a door chime will let you know anytime an exterior door is opened in your home. This chime can alert you to any number of things — from unwelcome intruders to wayward children wandering out of the house.

Security Feature #4: Bluetooth Deadbolts 

Many newer door locks are Bluetooth-enabled. This makes getting in a snap — if you have your phone on you, simply tap the deadbolt and it will unlock due to the close proximity of your phone. This is more secure than a traditional lock that can easily be picked. You will also be able to remotely monitor your door using your smartphone. This way, you can double-check that the door is locked when you are at work or out running errands.

Security Feature #5: Floodlights

Having a motion-activated floodlight in your yard can help alert you to any nighttime activity outside your home. The threat of being detected can frequently scare away would-be intruders, so the floodlights alone are often enough to protect your home from a break-in.

Consider adding one or all of these features. They can provide you with both convenience and peace of mind.

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