5 Things To Review At an Open House

Open houses are a great opportunity for real estate buyers to attend and roam around and ask questions. I always suggest to my client that I love to accompany them as their Vancouver Realtor. However, not most of the time our schedule matches with open houses. If I know they’d be attending in a certain time and date frame, and I won’t be accompanying them, I always call the listing agent and inform him/her of the situation. In this case the agent is aware of my client intention and relationship.
In Vancouver we have great Realtors and great relationship professionally to look after each other’s client. In addition, with the new regulation in Real Estate Council of BC, the listing agent is and must solely represent the sellers benefit and interest only. 
As a real estate buyer when roaming around the open house, it is a perfect time to easily see everything, asking many questions and get the right feeling.

- First impression
In my recommendation, my buyer clients must pay extreme attention to this important factor. When they walk inside, do they get a strange feeling or a familiar feeling. Always analyze your first impression. Ask yourself if you see your family, sitting and playing in the living room of this Kitsilano House for sale? When walking in the yard of this False-Creek home for sale do you see your pet running around it? When entering the living room of this beautiful Yaletown condo for sale, do you see your furniture setting perfectly? When you enter the open kitchen in this newly renovated Fairview townhouse for sale, can you see yourself preparing a meal? If the answers are yes, this is a great start and this Vancouver property maybe a winner.

- Living space and square footage
Space is very important to consider. The more square-footage, there is certainly more value and dollar. When walking in an open house, review the floor plan and layout of this Vancouver home for sale. In many cases, listing Realtors, place the floor plan in the back-end of the MLS® system and as the Vancouver buyer Realtor, I share it with my client asap. 
Every homes and condo unit lay-out and measurement is different and it must be suitable for a buyer’s need and usage. Open house is a perfect place to walk the square footage and see the usable space.

- Finishes and quality
Whether a property you’re viewing has been renovated or not, it is a good idea to see further and beyond the seller’s furniture and decoration. In your possession date, you wouldn’t see any of these decors and or staging. Always see beyond it and see the finishes and quality of the renovation. If It is not renovated and new, see the potential of how much work and dollar is involved. 
If viewing an older home, always ask about the oil tank- electrical update, plumping update, roof, foundation, molding and asbestos. These are the most expensive items to get fixed and repair in an older house for sale, or even in an older building, condo unit.
If the condo or the house for sale is renovated, analyze the quality of the renovation. Sometimes, a cheap laminate flooring and or new but ugly fake plastic stone on the counters must be replaced with quality finishes and the cost is more. 

- Lighting and sun direction
When walking in any open house, also notice the amount of natural light. It is an important factor for many real estate buyers to have enough natural light in their home. Direction of the windows and if condos, direction of the unit and its view makes a huge difference in the natural lighting. When in a room ask the agent if you can turn the lights off to judge the natural light in this space. 

- Heating and cooling system
Whether it is a condo or a house, it is useful to know the heating and cooling system. Whether this Vancouver house or condo has A/C and or cooling system. If the heating, is forced air or electrical baseboard make a difference. Is the heating supply, an oil tank, electric, natural gas and or simply wood burning furnace?
These can affect obtaining home insurance ability and vary in budgeting for monthly heating bill.

I always recommend to my buyers to view and review everything beyond its cosmetic and decorations. This home for sale, is going to be theirs for years to come and must sustain its quality.
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