Homebuyer Checklist: What to Look for at an Open House
It’s that time of year in Park City — Ski lifts are closed, local families have left for warmer climates during spring break and the home selling season for full time residences is fast approaching. Soon to follow will be open house season for the public.
Park City locals are an active bunch who are now getting out for running, biking and cruising around our beautiful town. List Agents will take advantage of all of the outside activity so start looking for open house signs that will pop up all over Park City in a few weeks. When you see them, kick off your shoes and come on in!
We do have our fair share of neighbors attending open houses because they’ve been just dying to see the inside of the homes down the street. But rest assured, there are real buyers out looking. And if you’re one of them, keep these tips in mind:
How does the sun illuminate the home? Is it dark, or more often, so bright you need sunglasses inside? How will the sun hit the master bedroom windows in the morning? Use your handy dandy compass app to help figure out the sun’s path around the home.
Is there street noise? Does the agent have the music cranking and water feature running to disguise would be road noise? It’s okay to politely ask to turn off the background music to help listen for the road or the community pool.
Don’t forget to look in the garage. We have lots of outdoor toys in Park City. Several pairs of skis, mountain bikes, road bikes, golf clubs, stand up paddle boards and boats, for that matter. Is the garage big enough to hold all the toys and two cars, maybe three?
Is the yard big enough and fenced for your recently adopted dog? Can the yard be fenced? Are there CC&R’s that prohibit fencing? Do you need permission from the HOA? The List Agent should know the answers to these questions (hopefully) or provide the answers within a day.
What is the flow like in the home? Is there wasted space you will never use? Like a formal dining room or a formal living room? Is there room for some guests to have a free place to stay when they come to ski? Some people definitely need the extra space and some will intentionally purchase a home that doesn’t provide the space. But that’s another story.
Envision what the driveway will look like in the winter? Is there a place to store the plowed snow? Is it so steep that you’re risking your life driving out of the driveway in the winter?
Many times people get wrapped up in how well a home is decorated or staged. Remember, the furniture won’t be there when you purchase. Stick to checking out the bones, flow, light, noise level, how close is the neighbor, are the features you don’t like fixable? Paint, carpet, counter tops, cabinets, appliances, are an easy fix. Moving walls can be expensive.
Also, be mindful of your agency relationship with your Realtor®. If you have a relationship with a Realtor® already, be sure to tell the attending List Agent up front. Just say something like, “Thank you for holding the home open. I work with …”. There is no reason why you shouldn’t still tour the home even though your agent isn’t present. And please know that most Sellers want to know how many people attended. So you will probably get asked to sign in
Want to learn more about what to look for during your open house visits? I’d love to help and represent you as your buyer’s agent. Call me at 801-550-7563 if you are house hunting in the Park City area.