Thursday, February 23, 2012

Buying a Home in Town: The Hunt Begins!

Part of the fun of beginning the house hunting process in town is attending open houses. For many buyers, especially those who haven't yet sought out a buyer's agent, it's a leisurely, no-pressure way to shop. That is, once you have mastered the art of finding out where the open houses are.

The first step is to know when to look. Most open houses are held on Sundays, here as in most other areas of the country. The reason is no secret: universally, Sunday open houses are better attended than those held on Saturdays. And weekdays aren’t even in the running. One writer reports a typical experience: Dan Malloy, an agent in Westlake, OH, reports that twice as many visitors come to his Sunday open houses.
While newspapers used to be the golden standard for locating open houses, these days the Internet has become the leader. Brokerage websites, real estate sites such as FrontDoor's and Trulia, as well as Craigslist and other classified sites, are all excellent places to visit when it's time to organize your open house safari. I find can be especially useful because it does such a good job of removing out-of-date listings (the ‘wild goose chase’ elimination factor).

And low-tech methods can still be effective. Why not take a Sunday morning drive through the neighborhoods you might be considering? By 11 a.m., you will find plenty of yard signs advertising the day’s open houses. They’re hard to miss -- often festooned with plenty of balloons and arrows to point the way.  Since many agents still do advertise their open houses in the weekend classifieds, take along a copy in case you don’t find as many open houses as you were expecting.

Any way you find them, open houses are a great way to start a February home hunt.   The next step is to find an experienced local agent to take you all the way through to your next home. Give me a call anytime -- we can start planning your next step! 714-908-4114.

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