If you're like most people in America looking to buy a new home, you'll most likely start by going to open houses. According to the National Association of Realtors, most open houses are held on Sunday afternoon.
Atlanta, Georgia is no different. On any given Sunday, there are at least a dozen open houses taking place. As a Realtor who has hosted many an open house, you could say I am an open house expert.
No two open houses are ever the same. The reason being is there are a different bunch of buyers shopping each weekend. The people at the open house make all the difference. In fact, if I had to say one of my favorite things about being a Realtor, it is meeting the people at an open house. You never know who is going to walk through the door. Some how they are all very different yet with one thing in common - they are all interested in real estate. Did you notice that I said they are interested in real estate and not necessarily in the home I am selling? That's OK with me though. I love the people that are neighbors just being nosy. Who else has a better pulse of what's going on in the community? I say the more the merrier at my open house! Plus, a lot of these neighbors are just the ones who have friends that want to move into the neighborhood.
I digress...back to the really important stuff.
Why are open houses a great way to start a home search for buyers?
1) See a variety of homes at a variety of price points.
Get to know what your dollar affords. No pre approval necessary. This is a good way of getting a feel for a bench mark of pricing, or getting to know what the market is offering at all price points.
2) Set your own pace.
Whether you want to see 3 or 4 homes today or 2 next week - you can do it when you want. Be flexible. No commitments necessary. You see a sign, you go in. It's easy.
3) Get a feel for the neighborhood
Not only is the home itself important, so is the neighborhood where you live. Notice the street, is there activity, what kind of activity? Are the neighbors friendly? Do they keep up their lawn? Are there kids playing outside?
These may or may not be the questions you would ask but the point is, keep your eyes open and notice your surroundings. Decide if this is a neighborhood you find desirable and the one you would want to pursue.
Open houses are a great way to touch and feel your own way to your new home.