While virtual house showings have become popular over the past few years, there is nothing quite like seeing a house in person. If you’ve never attended an open house before, it can sometimes feel like a daunting step in the home-buying process. The great news is that you aren’t alone! There are lots of home buyers who have been in your shoes, and with the right preparation and information, you can feel comfortable attending an open house.
We’ve taken the time to break down what you should expect when attending an open house in Kelowna for the first time!
Kelowna Open Houses: You Won’t Be Alone
Open houses aren’t just limited to prospective buyers, so don’t be surprised if you see a mix of different visitors walking through the home. You are likely to encounter other people interested in the property, but you might also run into a nosy neighbour, or someone who was driving by and decided to stop just because. The listing agent will also be present during the open house, so feel free to utilize them with any questions you may have about the property.
Ask Lots of Questions
Having access to the listing agent who hosts the open house can be a great opportunity to ask questions about the property and the neighbourhood. While it can be easy to get caught up in the cosmetic features of the home, such as paint and finishings, the important features you should ask questions about are the mechanics. Some important mechanics to keep in mind and inquire about are exterior features such as the roof, windows and siding, and internal features such as appliances, furnace, and hot water tank. Here are a few examples of some good questions to have prepared:
- How up-to-date are the mechanics of the home? Have there been any updates made recently to the property?
- What parking options does the property offer? Is street parking legal?
- Are there any pre-existing issues that the current homeowners have dealt with?
- What different amenities does the neighbourhood offer?
Remember That Someone Still Lives There
As tempting as it might be to take a short break and sit down on the couch, it’s important to remember that someone still lives in the house you’re touring. It’s not uncommon to want to open closet doors or take a peek in any built-in cabinets, respecting the current homeowner’s privacy is incredibly important. If you want to take a look at something in the house, but aren’t sure if it’s allowed, it’s always a good idea to ask the listing agent first. The same etiquette goes for taking photos within the home. It’s always best to ask for permission before pulling out your camera, so you can respect the privacy of the current owners.
Most open houses will provide you with a flyer or pamphlet that contains some key details about the home, such as the square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and any other notable features. Bringing a pen and even a tape measure with you to an open house is always a great idea, as you can take notes on certain elements that might not be highlighted on the flyer. Look at the electrical outlets in the home and note how many there are in each room. Take measurements to help determine whether your furniture will fit in the space. Taking notes during an open house is a great opportunity to be able to reflect on the property later and pinpoint the things you loved and the things that might be a red flag.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared before going to an open house, and with some of these tips you’ll be setting yourself up for success in not only this Kelowna open house but in any other open houses that you’ll visit in the future!