Ready to hit the weekend open houses? As a broker I’ve got four things I’m aware of as I tour new listings: location, condition, price and buyer appeal. Pricing is key so I always want to know when was the home last sold and for how much? What are the neighboring homes selling for at this time? Our market is hot so we can work in appreciation, but you also want to make sure that what you’re paying makes sense both for your purchase and also for future resale. “Location, location, location” – it’s the theme of real estate, and if you are near or on an arterial, the pricing should reflect the impact of traffic going by, sometimes by as much as 7% of the sales price. The tougher locations often take longer to sell when the market cools down. On the other hand, if you’re surrounded by consistently nice homes, that will help out your future resale value and the quality of life living on that particular street. You’ll see an extra bump up in resale values for being on a great block. The last two items on my mind are condition and buyer appeal, and these have a lot to do with how the home presents itself when you walk in the door and how was it updated and maintained in recent years.
Big ticket items to check out when you tour an open house include the age of the roof, the furnace, any updates to the electrical panel, plumbing and other systems in the home. My feeling is there are a few things you can check off when you walk into an open house and they include the following: 1) is there off-street parking, 2) how’s the roof, 3) is the garden an asset (sunny orientation rather than damp and shady), 4) how do you feel when you walk in the front door, 5) is there a coat closet or entry area, 6) is there a dining room or dining area, 7) any updates in the kitchen or good space there for future improvements, 8) is there a bedroom on the main floor, 9) is there a deck or doors that create inside/outside flow for summer entertaining, and 10) how are the systems & storage in the home. Most of the time if there’s a moisture issue at a listing your nose will let you know, and if the size is too small you’ll see that the rooms feel cramped when walk through the open house. If it’s a great fit, you’ll get a gut instinct that this is the home for you and that’s the perfect time to get in touch with me so we can walk through together and see how best to craft an offer for the seller. On-line you can see trends in listings, but when you drop by an open house, you get the whole picture. Hope these tips help you see how I look at the inventory.