Visiting An Open House? Great Tips & Tricks For Open House Shopping

Visiting an open house is a great way to get started when shopping for a new (first, or next) home.  Here is a list of tips to help make your house-hunting more successful.

Making the decision to buy a new home is a significant one.  This is especially true if it will be your first home after you’ve been renting, or if you are moving to a new province. There can be a lot to think about, especially when it comes to considering your financing options.  Making the decision to sell your current home, locating an appropriate and desirable area to move to, let alone actually finding a new home for you and your family! It can be easy to get caught up in the details of loans, interest rates and other financial issues.  You have to keep in mind that the most important aspect of this journey is finding a home that you and your loved ones can be happy in.

How To Visit An Open House!

To do this, you will need to view many different houses to find one that is the perfect match for you, and an Open House is a great way to do this. Open Houses are easy to find via the MLS Multiple Listing Service.

Take the time to view a variety of different homes. Establish what you like, what you don’t like, and what you can afford. Make sure that whoever is going to be living in the home also plays a role in making the decision, as it is important for everyone to be comfortable and happy.

You may find, as you only have a small amount of time inside each home, that it is difficult to remember details about each house, particularly if you are viewing multiple homes in a single day. You need to take in as much as you can while you’re on each property, but what are the important details to remember? Well, here are a few ideas.

Open House shopping is a good way to start looking
An Open House is a good way to start for home buyers.

Prepare before you go

Make sure you are well prepared for each open house. You should bring a measuring tape, a notebook or writing pad, and a camera (unless your cell phone has a good camera). Take as many notes as possible while you are viewing the house, but make sure you don’t spend all your time writing and no time looking around and soaking up the atmosphere of the house. Notes are especially important if you are viewing multiple open homes, and will help you to remember which house had the large kitchen, which had the living room filled with natural light, and which had ample storage space. Photos can also prove very helpful, but make sure you have permission from the REALTOR® before doing so.

Look for the Flaws

When you’re not taking notes or photographs, make sure you look for signs of Damage. Water damage, areas of disrepair, and anything that will need fixing and replacing. Take the time to open cupboards, drawers, and anything else with a door.

Picture your current home and compare.  Does this Open House you are looking at have enough storage space for all of your belongings? It is also important to assess the outside of the house too. Is the guttering in good condition? Are there any tiles missing from the roof? Does the yard have enough space to meet your needs? Answers to each of these questions will help you find a great new home.  One that can meet the every need of you and your family.


When you find a good one, call a Real Estate Agent to represent you!

Always keep in mind that the agent who is holding the Open House works for the home seller.  As the buyer, you should have your own agent!  Call a qualified real estate agent who can represent you, and look after YOUR interests.  Better yet, seek out an Accredited Buyer Representative (A.B.R.®) who is specifically trained to look after the home buyers interests.  Read more about A.B.R.’s in this slideshare:



Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about rental homes for 

Real Estate Agents Note about Open Houses

If you are already working with a ‘Buyers Agent’, please make sure that you check with him/her first, BEFORE going to an Open House.   This is to check your local rules and customs.  Please remember that the agent who is running the house does have the right to ask for your name and/or other ID prior to letting you into the home.  Also remember that he/she represents the home seller.

Also read: What to look for at an Open House.



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I am going to take your advice and visit different open houses in my chosen areas. And once I pin down the property that I’m interested in, I will definitely call a real estate agent to represent me.


I will definitely keep these things in mind when I got to an open house. Sometimes we are easily impressed by the looks and forget about the important details of the house that we need to know. Great read! Thanks.

Carla Larson

I love taking advantage of open houses! I agree with you, you should really look for the flaws! It’s better to spot them in persion

Marco Antonio

I’ve never really been to an open house before, so the tips included in this article are very much noted. I think it’s important to have someone accompany you when checking a house/condo unit. That way, they might be able to see things (such as damages, repairs), that you may not have noticed; and vice-versa.

Charlene G

Yes, I totally agree that the best way to ensure you’re making the right investment is through an open house. Definitely take note of the flaws because you wouldn’t want to live in a house that would surprise you with a hole or anything.

Maury Cheskes

I agree that before buying a home you should be as observant and critical as possible. Comparing notes from different open houses is a good way to help you make your choice. I also think you should choose a reliable real estate agent that has had good reviews online. Thanks for sharing.

David Tjoe
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Thank you for the tips given, this might be very useful for many people. But for myself, I will avoid viewing multiple homes in a single day. And prioritizing strategic locations and the conditions of neighbors around the location.

David Mureithi

It’s highly recommended to always plan before doing anything. Actually that is the most basic part.

Aissa Jo Quizon

In order to get the best house that you want for your money, you really have to take into consideration the need to inspect the house that you want by yourself. People could be victimized just by shopping on the internet for a house and finding out that it costs more to renovate it than the whole price of actually just buying it off from some site altogether. The tips and rules you have outlined in this article for open house visits are practical and great advice to take note of. Thanks!

Scott Summerrs
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Look for flaws yes but do not be picky. I mean it is fine and dandy to want the best product possible but at least be reasonable about it. After all there is a difference between criticism and being straight up looking fault at anything.

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