Home Open

What you should be doing at HOME OPENs

Most unprepared buyers look at four or five Home Opens and they end up confused as to what was in each home.

These are steps for astute home buyers:

1. Create a list of features you want

Before you even find a property you want to look at, write down a list of features you want in a home or investment property. Tick or cross these as you go around the dwelling. You can use this to assist in your decisions later about what you’re willing to compromise on.

2. Take a clipboard or notebook

Make sure you have a pen and some paper to write on, and consider getting the floor plan from the agent. As you walk around the home make notes about what you see, such as “pokey bedroom” or “great aspect”. This will make sure you’re alert to the problems you first noticed and the positives in the home.

3. Consider who you go with carefully

If you take someone with you to an open home, ensure they’ll help by being confident, objective and a useful sounding board. If the person is going to be a detriment, imposing their view on you, then they might not be so useful.

4. Look for key attributes

Good quality light, good aspect, the slope of the land, an open plan living, wear and tear, the age of the bathrooms and kitchens and the age of the appliances are all worth noting.

5. Understand due diligence

While some buyers will want to tap on the walls, unless you’re an experienced builder or inspector it’s unlikely you know what you’re looking for. Remember what will be checked and to mention any concerns with a building and pest inspector. If there are significant cracks, consider having not just a building and pest inspector but an engineer take a look.

6. Have a camera or your phone

The real estate agent’s photos can be a great way to jog your memory, but they don’t always show the full story of the home – they’re designed to sell it. If you want to, take your own photos of what is important at each property.