Visiting an Open House? Here Are Some Tips and Tricks

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Looking for a new home? Visit an open house!

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, particularly 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! While 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.

To do this, you will need to view many different houses to find one that is the perfect match for you, and open homes are a great way to do this. Take the time to view a variety of different homes, and 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.

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 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 whether new homes you are looking at would 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? Finding answers to each of these questions will help you find a great new home 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 

Bo Kauffmann would like to add: If you are already working with a ‘Buyers Agent’, please make sure that you check with him/her first, BEFORE going to Open Houses, just 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.

Additional Info for Home Buyers

Three tips for single female homebuyers | Financial Post

Visiting an Open House?  Here Are Some Tips and TricksSince high school, Gaby Lorenzo has dreamt of a home that she can call her own of a place she can decorate just the way she wants and where she has a sense of control. Many single women like Lorenzo are buying their own homes. In fact, it is much more common for single women than single men to purchase a home.

“There’s a huge sense of independence in owning my home and being comfortable in my own living environment where I make my own rules and my own decisions,” said Lorenzo, 24, pictured, who works at a communications agency in San Francisco and recently bought a condo in Concord, Calif. More info via Winnipeg’s Real Estate Blog

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43 Comments on "Visiting an Open House? Here Are Some Tips and Tricks"

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Okey, I got it Mr.Kauffmann. Just like to do everything we have to prepare first and sure, make notes. I prefer to use our smartphone camera. My problem is to call a real estate agent in Winnipeg. Do you have recommendation?


This blog is very informative about tips and tricks on visiting an open house. House hunting is not easy, so having your own real estate agent is very important.

Ricco Hardi

Look for the flaws and damages if there are any. Home owner tries to hide them from you so your check should be thorough. And also check the for the space and compare it to your current home space.

Lily James

I always prepare the checklist of the important things that I need in my future home. So when I visit the open house, I can be sure which amenities are available and which are missing.


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[…] More info via Winnipeg’s Real Estate Blog 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. […]

This article was very helpful. I have always felt awkward going to open houses. It just feels so weird to go into someone’s home (I also hate going into an occupied home with a Realtor). This article takes some of the anxiety our of it by giving me an idea of what to expect as well as preparing me for… Read more »

very good tips, Next time when I will go any open house these could be very handy. thanks.