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Tips for attending open house inspections

With the Spring selling season upon us, many prospective buyers are busy filling their weekend calendar with open house inspections.

Content reviewed and updated April, 2014

With the Spring selling season upon us, many prospective buyers are busy filling their weekend calendar with open house inspections.

An open house will allow you to see firsthand a property you are interested in buying and it provides a wealth of opportunities to find out more details. This is an important and necessary part of the research you need to perform before committing to the purchase.

While it's important to get a ‘feel' of the property and the surrounding area, having a systematic approach to check the tangible and practical aspects of each property can help you make the most of each house inspection, and ultimately a more informed decision. Mortgage Choice offers a comprehensive house inspection checklist which you may find handy.

Here are a few things all potential buyers should do:

  • Before you attend an open house inspection, make a list of the things that are important to you, such as the demographics of the area and the property's aspect, airflow, light, quality of carpets/paint/fittings and state of repair.

  • Make sure to bring identification for the agent -  whilst this isn't a legal requirement, sellers can make this a condition of entry to their property.

  • When you get to the property, you will more than likely be greeted by the real estate agent. Take the time to talk to them; they are experts on real estate in the local area and if they know what you are looking for, they will be able to help (though be aware they are working on the vendor's behalf, not yours!).

  • Make notes on everything (particularly against your wish list)

  • Once you are at home, try to go over your checklist logically and without emotion. It's very easy to get caught up in the thrill of finding something you like and ignoring the negative factors that could lose you money or sleep in the long run.

It's best to spend as much time as possible viewing each property during an open house inspection because you may only get one or two additional chances to see it before you need to make an offer or head to its auction day - check out our hot tips for auction day.

If after one or more inspections you are considering whether it is the right move for you from an affordability point of view, speak to a professional mortgage broker for help searching through loans that suit your needs. This will help confirm whether or not your financial situation and lifestyle are conducive to purchasing this property.

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