It's Sunday and you know what that means, Open Houses abound in the Boston Metro West area. The front doors of Single-family homes, condos, and multi-families are wide-open welcoming strangers in to check out every inch of their interior space from top to bottom. Pretty amazing when you think about it, don't you think? I often wonder how the idea got hatched and continues to thrive. It does say something about our trust in one and other and the hobby of “just looking”.
So what about the Open house tradition?
Usually you'll find the most properties open to visitors will be on Sunday afternoons anywhere from 1PM to 4PM. Properties available to be seen are advertised in newspapers, posted on Craig's List, found on real-estate web sites and even just the placing of an Open House sign (with or without balloons) in front of the home.
And who can attend?
Anyone. Yes, anyone. Some come because they have planned their afternoons on checking off their of homes to see. Other come because they happen to be driving by see the sign (with or without balloons) and think "why not" take a look And then there are the curious neighbors and homeowner in the neighborhood who may be thinking of selling in the future sees the OH as an opportunity to compare their home with the home for sale, No one is turned away, No one is qualified at the door…it is opened for your viewing pleasure. Pretty nice, huh?
Who's there and why?
The visitor is usually greeted at the door by the Seller, her or himself, or a representative of the Seller, a real estate agent. They say “hello “ possibly point out something about the property they feel of special interest. More than likely they will ask you “sign-in “ on prepared sheet and this can be a “wait a minute" moment for many. Often visitors feel annoyed by this request and may resist. For the record, the Seller’s agent is hoping to capture your info for further communication (information you may find useful) with you but it also serves to assure the seller that the folks coming through are in their home in good faith, to do nothing more than look and maybe even buy. If you don't want to give any additional information, you don't need to, in most cases your name will suffice. You'll be given a sheet with the property details and now you're free to look around and come you own conclusions about the house, condo, townhouse or multi-family!
Enjoy this Sunday afternoon,
Lois Ardito, principal
BTW, we loved to hear from you about our Open House experiences and welcome your suggestions and comments.
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Yes, Virginia, it does exist. Throughout my, shall we say, lengthy career in real estate, I have witnessed the media’s love of foretelling, reporting or rehashing anything to do with bad news in real estate. If values are on the rise, it is a bubble about to burst any moment. If values are declining, it is the end of the world for all. I do not mean to make light of the current difficulties faced by many in areas of the real estate market today, I am just suggesting that it would be wonderful to see a bit of a level playing field in reporting both the good and the bad as they occur.
For instance, right now, the good news in real estate….wait for it… is the historically, amazingly low interest rate! In my recent conversation with a mortgage originator, I was quoted refinance rates in the low 4’s and purchase money at 3.875%. 3.875%, yes, that is what I said! I remember 18.75% - although you most likely don’t – so 3.875% is just silly!
For those struggling with upside down mortgages, I express my concern and sympathy. However, this low interest rate does qualify as Good News in Real Estate. If you are able, you should take advantage.
And this might be a good time to download our BETTER BUYER KIT. It is free, it is for you, and it will help! The Better Buyer Kit offers you years of experience at your fingertips. The kit will answer many questions and help you prepare for the trransaction ahead. Read it through or keep it as a reference throughout your buying process.
Karen Lilley, principal