Why go to open houses after you’ve already bought a home? Believe it or not, some people do. And they have good reason.
Years ago, after closing on your American Dream with a 30-year fixed loan, you probably didn’t think much about the home’s value until you were ready to sell. Today, there’s so much more information available to home buyers. Markets move quickly. Life happens faster.
And so, many people have become hyper-aware of their real estate investments, frequently watching the rise and fall of market values well after the close. While it helps to be mindful of your home’s value, don’t obsess over it. Stay abreast of the local real estate market just as you’d keep an eye on any long-term investment. One of the best ways to do this is to go to open houses. Here are three reasons why.
1. You can learn a lot from listing agents
Often, would-be sellers and nearby homeowners represent a large portion of open house traffic. Use the open house not only to see what’s for sale and the price of comparable homes but also to learn about the market. Pick the brain of the listing agent to get his or her take on what’s happening in your area.
2. You’ll stay current with home design trends
Sellers generally put their best foot forward. Some go as far as making cosmetic updates or design/staging changes before putting their homes on the market. They likely rely on their real estate agent to suggest the latest and greatest in the market. So if you bought a home that needs updating, or you aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to choosing paint colors, countertops or bath fixtures, going to open houses will help you get ideas about what’s current.
3. You can get referrals for local real estate specialists, contractors or designers
Want to be connected to a good local designer or contractor? Ask the real estate agent selling a home you like if they can get you the contact information. Getting referrals from friends is also a good idea, but seeing the finished product in an open house can inspire you to replicate what that owner did and how they did it.