In the Market for a New Home? What to Look for at an Open House
Life + Money

In the Market for a New Home? What to Look for at an Open House


It’s open house season! You can learn a lot spending a Sunday afternoon touring homes, whether you’re ready to make an offer or just trying to get a feel for the market. Nearly half of buyers attended an open house last year, according to Zillow.

Slideshow: 10 Things to Look For at an Open House — and 5 to Ignore

Most real estate websites make it easy for you to do an open house tour, allowing you to find them by time and location. Plan your route ahead of time and wear comfortable shoes. Bring a notebook or plan on taking notes on your phone, since the homes will start to blur together once you’ve viewed a few of them.

Take your time as you walk through the house. This is your best opportunity to take stock not only of this house, but to get a sense of how it compares to other properties that you’ve seen throughout the day. Turning on the water, opening closet doors, and lifting an area rug will all give you intel you can’t glean from even the best online listing.

Remember while you’re in the open house to observe basic rules of etiquette. Take off your shoes, if requested to do so by the host. Don’t smoke near the house, throw garbage in the trash cans, or use the bathroom unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Click here for a rundown on all the things you should pay attention to at an open house – and the things you should avoid.