Five Questions to Ask at an Open House

With online listings and virtual tours at our fingertips, you might think open houses would have gone the way of the dodo bird by now. After all, a potential homebuyer can easily travel the digital highway and find out everything he or she wants to know about a house with the click of a button.

But open houses are not dead. They continue to be a great avenue for people to get information about a home that’s for sale.

Barb Sukkau, president of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), says open houses remain relevant today because most people still want to touch, feel and experience the house for themselves before buying.

“I know there’s a tremendous amount of information and photos and virtual tours online, but if you really want to get a true feel for the house and what it actually looks like, it’s always good to take a look at it in person. Sometimes, photos can be deceiving,” she says.

Say you’re a buyer looking for a home. You’ve scouted out some open houses to get an up-close-and-personal experience of a property. Fact sheets can give you plenty of information about the listing. But what questions should you consider asking the REALTOR® who is hosting the open house?

Here are some questions that you should consider asking:

  1. How long has the house been on the market?

This question is important because it can dictate your sense of urgency. “If it’s just newly-listed and a very busy open house, you might feel like you have to act a little bit quicker. If it’s something that’s been sitting on the market for a bit, then you might have a little bit of bargaining power,” explains Sukkau. Bottom line? “It’s important to know how long the property’s been for sale.”

For the rest of the questions, click here.