Visiting Silicon Valley and San Jose area open homes is a great way to get to know neighborhoods, architectural styles and the market overall. I encourage people thinking of buying or selling to visit the opens nearby to get a pulse on the market and what’s “out there”.
A few open house tips, in terms of what to be aware of:
- feel the floor as you walk through the condo or house: is it level?
- smell the various rooms – are there candles or other scents intended to mask odors?
- note the light and time of day, as well as the direction the home and windows face and ask yourself if the home gets adequate light for your taste
- is the layout good?
- is there enough storage?
- if there are problems with the home, can they be fixed?
- what needs updating or remodeling, or will need it soon?
- how are the homes, yards, and cars nearby?
- where are the power lines? are they regular, or high voltage power lines?
- was the home flipped or being lived in by long term owners?
- does each room have appropriate furniture, or is it barely furnished to make the room and space appear larger?
- have interior doors been removed? (this is an old “model home” trick)
The best homes will have presale inspections and disclosures completed which you can view prior to writing an offer. It can be very helpful to familiarize yourself with the various reports, inspections, and disclosures so that you understand the range of normal. Older homes will not be defect free, and sellers will not make them perfect either – so get a feel for what to expect by perusing some of these if the binders are available during your open house. (Do understand that the agent is likely going to read it as a “buying signal” so explain that you just want to understand how the paperwork looks.)
For more tips on what to include when viewing Santa Clara County homes for sale, please see:
Viewing An Open House on my main website.