The spring real estate market in the Greater Boston Area has been slow to start this year. But, since the mortgage rates have stayed low and the Greater Boston Area population and industry continues to expand at a record rate, the spring market looks to be very competitive for buyers once it gets underway. This means that properties will be on the market for very short periods of time before they are sold, and, as in last year’s competitive market, the Open Houses will be the prime available viewing time. So, as a buyer, you must be well prepared to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Start by preparing before you go by reviewing the properties you are interested in online. Ask your agent for any documents associated with the property such as lead paint disclosures, floor plans, seller’s disclosures or history of improvements. Drive by the property to be familiar with the exterior – remember not to advance on to the property itself, just because the property is for sale it does not give you the right to trespass. Check the town website for any information about the lot, taxes, or history of building permits – some own sites are more informative than others, but it does not hurt to check.
Once you are at the Open House, it helps to have reminders as to what it is you are looking for/at in each particular home. If you take our Open House Check List with you, it will remind you of those things you should be looking at so you will not miss the details like was there a disposal? Did it have a linen closet? Was there a garage door opener? Printing out one for each home will help you keep the details in line and prevent you from confusing the homes you have seen –“did that one have the blue bathroom tile?”
Lastly, when you are in the Open House be aware that the agent in the property is either a representative of the seller or a facilitator. The agent in the Open House is not representing you in relationship to this property and there should be displayed, in clear sight, a disclosure explaining this to all visitors. Be sure to ask them any questions you have as they owe you a right of disclosure, but you may not want to reveal your strategy in relation to the home, thing like – “I am going to call my broker and write up an offer on this house for full price” – might be better kept to yourself while in the Open House.
So, whether you're a seasoned buyer or a 1st time home buyer buying a home in MA do your research, work with your agent and bring along your Avenue 3 Open House checklist to make those Open Houses work for you!