Saturday, February 16, 2008

It’s Springtime! Our Sunglasses are on! We have a Full Tank of Gas! Let’s Go House Shopping!

It’s almost springtime and you are getting that bug. You know that little feeling that tells you that this is the year to buy a new home.

Interest rates are low. There is a great selection of new and existing homes. And frankly, you are just tired of renting!

So how do you go about finding a home? Most people start on the internet. If you are reading this, it is a good bet that you started with an online search. But after spending days, weeks and months online, now its time to venture outdoors and see some houses.

So on a perfect winter Sunday, you start driving by some of the properties that were presented so beautifully on the computer screen. You see the real estate signs and the open house arrows, you drive slowly up to the home but the car won't stop. You are frozen with questions.

What will you say to the agent in the home?

What do you do?

Relax. You are not alone. Many first time home buyers panic outside of an open house because the are unsure of what will be expected of them after they walk through the door. Heck, some aren’t sure before they step over the threshold whether or not to ring the doorbell or just walk in. So you are in very good company.

Here’s a few quick tips for getting the most out of attending real estate open houses.

  1. Get out of the car! Sounds so simple but you can tell more about the home from the inside of the house than the inside of your car.

  2. Walk right in! If you feel self conscious, ring the doorbell for fun first. That way you can be certain it works.

  3. If the agent doesn’t say “Hello”, say it first. Let them know you are just checking out the place.

  4. Take a look around. Check out every room, closets, basements, attics and ask the agent questions about the home.

  5. While you are checking out the house, check out the agent. Size up the person to see if he or she is someone that you would want to represent you in the purchase of your home.

Here’s the thing, the first home you visit may or may not be the perfect home for you. Heck, probably not even the second or third one will have that "IT" factor for you.

But stopping in open houses gives you a unique opportunity to size up Realtors to see if there is one that you would want to work with. If you take a Sunday and go to 6-7 open houses, you will meet 6-7 different agents. Some you will like; some you will hate; and one you will downright love to work with.

When you connect with one, sign that buyers’ representation agreement, visit with a loan officer for pre-approval for a loan, and then have them show you everything home on your short list. Not all home owners allow open houses. Working with one agent will save you time and frustration and allow you to see all of the homes you have on your short list in one day.

So what are you waiting for? Get in the car and get out there. Your perfect home and Realtor awaits!


Looking for a great open house for this Sunday in the Twin Cities North Metro?

Open House 20685 Georgia Ave Forest Lake, Sunday February 17 from 1-3 PM

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2008 Teri Eckholm