What Should You Ask at an Open House?

What Should You Ask at an Open House?


Knowing what to ask at an open house will definitely help you find the right house to buy and move into. So, do you know which questions you should ask at an open house? Don’t worry – we’re here to help!

If you are in the market to buy a new house, open houses are a great way to achieve that goal. An open house can let you get the skinny on the neighborhood, the real estate agents involved, and info on what houses in the area might cost. The key to all that is asking the right questions. Read on to see what you should be asking.

Have there been any offers on this property?

If you really want to move into a particular house, you need to know if you’ve got competition. But, you also want to know if there have been offers that the owners rejected – and why. This information can help you craft a good offer.

Has the house ever been in escrow?

If the house went as far as being in escrow and did not sell, you want to know why before you even make an offer. Get as much information as you can – was it an issue with the appraisal or the home inspection? If there have been home inspections, you can ask for a copy before you make your move.

Why are the owners selling?

While the real estate agent might not give you the lowdown on why her clients are selling, she might let something slip. Maybe they need to move soon or are under financial pressure. Just pay attention and try and pick up on anything.

How long as the house been listed?

If the house has been on the market for a while, the owners might jump at a lower offer. When you’re checking on this, also ask if there has been any reduction in price at all.

Are there any liens on this property?

As the person buying the home, you don’t want to risk any shockers at the time of the closing or moving in. Make sure to ask if there are any liens – construction, tax, or other claims on the property. Know this ahead of time!

Will the house meet the lender’s approval?

With so many home prices on the decline, foreclosures are up, and appraisals aren’t always as accurate if time has gone by. Look at recent comparable sales within the last 60-90 days to get a better idea.

What is the cost of moving into this property?

You will want to know about homeowner association fees, dues, or additional taxes that might exist on a property before you buy and move in. If there is an association, get their contact information and ask for a copy of their rules.

Can I have this in writing?

Whenever you’re dealing with the sale of a home, get whatever you can in writing. This way, you have back up at the time of closing (and before) and after you move in.

Jon Huser