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What do you need to do when looking through an open home?

By Craig Catley


When was the last time you left an open home with all the information you needed? Some people find attending open homes easy, but sometimes, you might not get all the information you need unless you ask the right questions. If you’re not sure what to look for, or which questions to ask the real estate agent, you may not have a realistic picture of the property when you leave.

Owners and investors have different goals, but they still need to know that the property in question will work for their needs. So how do make the most of an open home and get the best results from your Auckland real estate?

1) Ask the real estate agent about the condition of the home

Few people will know the property better than the real estate agent, so take advantage of that. Ask the agent questions about the sellers, the condition of the home itself (construction, damages, plumbing), and even about the water rates and power bills.

The selling agent will tell you what they know, and will be honest if they don’t know. If you only manage to get some information about the person or people selling the home, that’s still a good thing!

Any information that can help you determine a better opening bid is useful.

2) Check for anything that looks like it needs work

Walk around the home and check for any paint that’s coming away from the walls, or sagging roof panels, or hairline cracks around the skirting boards. Anything that looks like it needs work, or will cost you money to fix. The vendor isn’t going to be unrealistic about any existing damages, so it might even pay to ask the real estate agent for some help as well.

Be thorough when you do go to an open home, and make note of anything that doesn’t look like it’s in great condition. You may have a few opportunities to walk through the property, so make sure you get a good picture of the property.

3) Tick all the boxes on your checklist

No matter why you’re buying, whether it’s for an investment or for your growing family, you’ll have some dream factors for your new home. These might be about the price or the number of bedrooms, or even about the landscaping around the property. Will it be difficult to maintain to a high standard? Will the flowers bloom all year round, or are they more seasonal?

Is the landscaping around your home what you want? Or will it require some work?

Along with walking around the home and finding all the damages or potential areas that need renovation, look for the good things, like large , light-filled bedrooms, modern bathrooms and kitchens with lots of bench space, and maybe a pool or a balcony fit for long summer nights of entertaining.

Some factors you can live without, such as having private beach access when you have your stunning views. Some factors you cannot have, for example if you don’t want to deal with the maintenance, you probably wouldn’t buy a home with a pool.

At the same time, factors that are necessary might be the number of bedrooms. If you have a large family, there’s no point sinking more time into looking at smaller properties that might not suit your needs.

But don’t worry! There are plenty of other homes out there for you on the North Shore – you just need to spend some time looking for them. Get in touch with the team at Ray White Takapuna to help set you in the right direction toward your next home.

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