If you’re headed to an open house, don’t go unprepared. Before you go, write down a list of questions to ask the selling agent, so that you don’t forget the things you really want to know. Being prepared can help you gather the information you need before you make an offer. Here, we offer an open house checklist for buyers to use during a house showing.

  • Have any offers been made on this house? This is helpful to know before you open negotiations.
  • Why are the sellers moving? If there’s something wrong with the neighborhood or the neighbors, the agent may not be very forthcoming with the details. Asking the question, though, gives you the opportunity to read between the lines.
  • How long has the house been on the market? This is one of those questions for an open house that you really could find out elsewhere. However, the selling agent may be able to put the information in context.
  • Are there any issues with the house? This is one of the most important open house questions for home buyers, because it’s important to know exactly what you’ll be dealing with if you purchase this house. Sellers are required to disclose structural problems or code violations, and you can always ask for a copy of the disclosure statement, but you may be able to get additional information through an informal chat with a talkative agent.
  • What updates have been done? Some updates will be easy to spot, but things like wiring aren’t as obvious. Ask when the roof was replaced, and the age of the major components like the HVAC, water heater, and electrical system. It’s also smart to ask if the plumbing is on a septic or sewer system, and whether the sellers have had mold, radon, lead, or asbestos testing done.
  • Have any DIY repairs been made? Renovations should be done by a licensed contractor. If the homeowner has done the work, it may not be up to code.
  • What’s the cost of utilities? It’s important to know your cost of living before you make an offer. When inquiring about utilities, it’s also good to ask whether the house uses gas or electric power.
  • What stays with the house? Don’t assume that light fixtures, window treatments, and appliances will stay. It’s always better to ask.
  • What is the sellers’ timeline? The sellers may want to move quickly because of a new job or kids changing schools. This is helpful to know when you’re preparing your offer.
  • Is there an HOA? If the home you’re considering falls within the jurisdiction of a homeowners’ association, get a copy of their regulations so you’ll know whether you are willing to live with those rules.

House hunting doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, especially when you partner with a company like Vutech | Ruff, Corcoran Global Living. We provide outstanding service, assisting with just about every aspect of real estate while maintaining the highest level of professionalism. Our award-winning agents have years of experience helping clients buy and sell homes in the Columbus, Ohio area. Call 614-706-0122 or contact us through our website so we can get to work for you!