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6 Important Questions to Ask During an Open House

Attending open houses can be a great way to learn about available Hamptons homes for sale. You’ll have an opportunity to look around the house and speak with the listing realtor. It’s important that you take time to prepare before you show up so that you know what information you need to seek out before you can decide whether or not to make an offer on the home. Here are six questions you need to ask at your next open house.

1. How long has the home been on the market?

Understanding how long the property has been available will tell you something about the condition of the home. It will also give you a better idea of how much negotiating power you could have. If the home has only been on the market for a few days, it’s unlikely that the seller will consider an offer far below the listing price. They will likely wait to see if anyone can meet or exceed their asking price. On the other hand, if the home is still available after several weeks on the market, the seller could be growing impatient, and they may listen to offers that are more favorable to the buyer.

2. Does the home currently have any offers?

Like the first question, this is a great way to learn about how much interest the home is currently receiving. If you learn that the home already has an offer, try to figure out why the seller hasn’t accepted the offer yet. Perhaps the offer fell through, or maybe the seller is waiting to see if anyone can beat the original offer. If the offer was pulled or if it isn’t on the table anymore, ask why the buyer changed their mind. There’s a chance that the buyer’s change of heart has nothing to do with the home itself. They could have simply found another home to buy. It’s also possible that the buyer revoked their offer after learning that there was something wrong with the house. You’ll want to know if this is the case before you make an offer of your own.

3. When was the home last renovated?

Finding a renovated home when you’re shopping for Hamptons homes for sale is often a good thing, but there are a few things you’ll want to figure out after you learn that a home has been renovated in the past. You should figure out if the renovations were done by a professional or if the homeowner took on the task themselves. The issue with many DIY projects is that they aren’t always up to code. If you make an offer on the house and order an inspection that shows that certain aspects of the home aren’t up to code, you may have to pay higher premiums on your home insurance policy. These types of updates are also more likely to need repairs or upkeep later on down the road.

4. How old is the home?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with purchasing an older home, but you should be prepared to do more maintenance and repairs than you would have to do if you purchased a new build. If the home is already several years old, you will want to know when the roof and the HVAC system were last replaced. It’s also wise to ask about the water heater. These components aren’t made to last forever, and if it’s been several years since any work was done, the responsibility may fall to you in the near future. These repairs can cost a significant amount of money, and you’ll want to know what might be coming down the road so that you have enough time to budget for these types of expenses.

5. What’s included with the home?

Sellers aren’t required to include non-attached assets like kitchen appliances when they sell their homes. Many buyers assume that these pieces are included simply because they see them in the home when they come for the open house. These items can sometimes be used as negotiation pieces when you’re exchanging offers with the seller. Perhaps the seller asks for you to buy the home at a price closer to asking after you make the original offer. As an extra incentive for you, they offer to include the refrigerator or the washer and dryer. It’s also possible that the seller doesn’t need to bring their appliances with them to their next home and plans to leave them where they are simply because it’s easy or convenient. Whatever the case, you’ll want to know what the seller’s plans are for these items.

6. What’s the neighborhood like?

Any good home search should include a thorough neighborhood search. If you don’t like the color of the paint on the wall or the age of the kitchen appliances, you can change these things after you purchase the home. The same isn’t true for the home’s neighborhood. Take time before or after you attend the open house to learn about what life is like in the neighborhood and how strict the HOA is. Drive around the neighborhood to see if there are any shared amenities like walking trails or a neighborhood park. Make sure you won’t have to drive twenty minutes to find the nearest hospital or grocery store near the home. All of these elements will affect your quality of life if you choose to purchase the home.

The Schiaffino Team boasts a wealth of experience and a thorough knowledge of the market for Hamptons homes for sale. The team is led by Lori Schiaffino, who has advised buyers and sellers across the globe in her 25-plus years of experience. Her expertise and skills set her apart from the competition and are tremendously valuable to each client who she works with. Reach out to Lori and her team whenever you’re thinking about testing the market for Hamptons homes for sale.

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All with extensive business experience, the Schiaffino Team brings a wealth of local knowledge and understanding of the Hamptons’ real estate market.