Thursday, December 15, 2016 / by Jeff Stoffel
Open houses provide more than the opportunity to showcase your clients’ listed homes; they also allow you to exercise your knowledge as a real estate agent by fielding questions from potential home buyers. While these questions can range from the common to the rare, most of them are focused on the house or neighborhood in general. However, as they walk through your open house, different rooms may inspire inquiries that are a bit more specific in nature. With CENTURY 21® Real Estate’s insight, you may find it easier to anticipate these niche questions and prepare for them in advance. Take a look at what questions each area of the house might elicit from potential home buyers.
The Front Door
Some, if not most, potential home buyers are already taking stock of the house before they step in the door. Just seeing the exterior of the house in its neighborhood may lead to the following:
- When were the windows installed?
- How old is the roof?
- What are the neighbors like?
Structural renovations, such as replacing drafty windows or aging roofs, may be costly. Since roofs tend to need replacement every 20 or 25 years, the home buyer will want to factor in maintenance costs. Neighbors are not so costly, but they may affect quality of life. Try talking up positive aspects of the relationship between the current homeowners and their neighbors.
This room is often the hub of family homes, so it’s important to know its quality beforehand. Expect questions similar to the following:
- What are the cabinets made out of?
- When were the appliances installed?
- Is the countertop sealed?
Cabinets made of solid wood tend to last longer, and newer appliances usually function better. Answer honestly and accurately, but remember to focus on the positive or memorable aspects of these features.
Maintenance issues with this room are often the most inconvenient, for obvious reasons. The home buyer will want to make sure that everything is functional before they commit. You might hear things like:
- How old is the plumbing?
- Where does the sewage lead to?
- Has it ever been treated for mold?
While these aren’t the most glamorous of topics, they’re key to the quality of the house. Be truthful about the facts, but this might be an area where you stay away from anecdotes.
Whether or not the basement is finished, potential home buyers are sure to take a look at it. After doing so, they may ask:
- How old is the wiring?
- Have you ever experienced water damage?
- Has there ever been flooding?
Here, it’s crucial that you discuss past issues you may have had because they may pose an indication for future events that the home buyer should be aware of. For example, if the basement flooded only once during an unusually strong storm, just tell them. It might not be a deal breaker, but it may be something they’d like to know to prepare for in severe weather. Just be sure to include information on how the current homeowner dealt with the problem, and the precautions they took to prevent it in the future.
Develop answers to these questions for your next open house and you may enhance the home buyer’s experience while showcasing your skills as an agent who’s SMARTER.BOLDER.FASTER.®