How to get the most out of an Open for Inspection

If you are in the market looking to buy a property you’re probably spending every Saturday at open for inspections. While this is an exciting time, it can be overwhelming and stressful trying to see 5 different properties in two different suburbs in the span of 1.5 hours. If you always find yourself short on time or rushing through, read our tips below and your next open for inspection will be a breeze.

1. Look up the neighbourhood beforehand

When preparing for an open for inspection, it's easy to put all your focus on the house itself. You look at the floorplan, number of bed/bath/car and use the photos to quickly determine if you think you'll like it. However, it's easy to forget to take a good look at its location. While you may have ticked off the location boxes based on its proximity to transportation, shops and good schools, have you considered the neighbourhood itself? If you're not familiar with the area you want to buy in, we highly recommend that you drive past the property to get a feel of the neighbourhood. A ten minute drive by will provide you with crucial information that you can't get off the internet. For example, you'll notice if it's a quiet or more vibrant neighbourhood, if the surrounding homes show pride of ownership, if there are any strange sewage smells or if there's any noise from freeways or train tracks. Remember, if you buy the property you will not only live in the house - you'll also live in neighbourhood. Therefore, it's important that you feel like the neighbourhood is a good fit for you and your family.

2. Be there early

Make sure that you arrive early for an open for inspection. If you're the first person in line you'll get a couple of moments to walk through the property without any disturbances from other possible buyers. First impressions count and it will be much easier for you to picture yourself living in the home or visualise any changes you want to make, without people blocking your view. Also, if it is a busy open for inspection it may take a couple of extra minutes to be allowed inside the property or it may even take longer to do a proper walk through. If you have no other plans for the day this kind of extra time may not inconvenience you. However, if you have several other open for inspections lined up, you might not have the time to wait in line or to wait for a crowded bathroom to clear of people.

3. Have a list of your must haves ready

Coming to an open for inspection with a list of your must haves makes it a lot easier to either add the property to your shortlist or to quickly eliminate it as an option all together. Having a list prepared will also help you to think rationally whilst inspecting. For example, you may fall in love with a beautiful house at first sight but then when you check if it ticks the boxes on your list, you notice that it doesn't have that 4th bedroom that you need. When you're in the market looking to buy, it's important that you make decisions with a clear head. While there is always room to compromise, you should carefully consider if the property is worth compromising for and if it's going to end up costing you in the future.

4. Talk to the agent 

If there is anything that is unclear or if you have any questions about the property, ask the agent - s/he is there to help you. There may be a lot more to the property than you thought or you learn something that makes it the wrong property for you. If you find that this property is not the one for you, ask the agent if s/he has any other listings, or know if anyone in his/her agency has one that better meet your requirements. You may end up finding the right property for you whilst at the open for inspection at the wrong one.

5. Grab a brochure

If the agent is handing out brochures, make sure that you grab one before you leave. If you go to many open for inspections during the day, it's easy to mix them up or forget what was unique about each property. To help you remember key features, or what you particularly liked or disliked about the property, write it down while it is all still fresh in your mind. For example, you may write down the asking price, if you'd need to renovate the laundry or if the garden may be more work than you can handle. The more information you put down the better.

For expert advice regarding your specific situation, contact your local real estate agent Discover Residential in Frankston, Seaford, Frankston South, Langwarrin, Frankston North, Baxter and Somerville for assistance.

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