Visiting an Open House: Rules and Tips

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Buying a new home is a huge step. Finding the best property is difficult. To make things easier for both sellers and buyers, there is the Open House event, hosted by a realtor, which usually takes place at weekends. The reason why this activity is done at the end of the week is simply that both homeowners and home buyers are busy people who have to go to work.

Additionally, a house looks much better and cleaner during daylight hours. More often than not, it will be clean and sparkling, interior lights will be on to show the real beauty of the premises, a nice smell coming from an air freshener somewhere out of sight will be released every now and then. Music may be heard. It is very unlikely that the house is messy and unclean. After all, sellers do their best to present their properties’ best face.

But what do you know about Open House rules? What is the proper etiquette? Here are some of the most common things buyers should know when visiting an open house kindly presented by SW12 City Cleaners. Read on.

“Should I knock or ring the door bell?”

A common problem for visitors to an open house is, “Do I ring the bell or do I walk in straight away?” Well, here is the thing. It depends on the situation, but unless you’re instructed to knock or ring the door bell, you don’t need to. Normally, there is a sign at the door, saying you should knock. If there isn’t any, you’re allowed to walk in unannounced. And when you do, a quick “hello” will be enough to let the other person/people know you’re there.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of agents: the engaging one and the non-engaging one. The engaging one will be standing at the door, waiting for you. Upon greeting you, he or she will introduce himself/herself. This kind of agent will tell you everything you want to know about the property and will let you examine the house at your own pace.

The non-engaging one is likely to be hanging out in a corner with a cup of tea in one hand and a good book in the other. He or she will not provide any information to you unless asked. Additionally, they will probably ask you to help yourself to the flyers provided on the counter and will get angry if you disturb them. This kind of agent is one who wasn’t really willing to engage in this.

“How do I know this is the listing agent I’m talking to?”

Who you should be interested in meeting is the listing agent. This is the person who has been assigned by the seller to assist in selling the property. Sometimes, there may be two agents and it’s hard to tell who’s the listing one at first sight. What you need to do is to simply ask. Note that listing agents may not have a name badge or be mentioned on the For Sale sign.

“How do I avoid associate agents?

What do you do if you meet an associate agent and he/she wants to represent you to buy this house or another one but you’re already working with another agent? The best and quickest thing to do is to hand them over your agent’s card so that they know you’re not available. Normally, agents must ask you if you’re already committed to another agency, but sometimes they don’t. Be sure to inform them what’s going on in a polite manner.

“Are neighbours allowed?”

“Can I join if I live down the street?” The answer is: yes, of course! Many people think that agents don’t really want to show the property to neighbours but that’s a fallacy. In fact they will be very happy to show you around if you’re a neighbour. Your feedback is important to them. Not to mention, you may know a person who would love to buy the house. Everyone is allowed to attend an Open House, so don’t be afraid to check your neighbour’s house if you’re tempted to.

Things Not to Forget When Viewing a Property

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Whether you’re considering buying or renting a new property, there are a few things to keep in mind. Before you buy a house or an apartment, you’ll have to do a walk-through of the premises. What are the things to watch out for and how can you determine whether the place is good enough for you? Follow our tips and advice we’ve pointed out in this article.

Hygiene And Cleanliness

Is the place you’re viewing clean and disinfected? Make a thorough inspection of every room to ensure that it is hygienic and liveable. Sometimes a place may seem free of dirt and soil, but a closer look at it reveals loads of problem areas to deal with. Inspect well the property you’re planning to buy or rent and demand that W6 professional cleaning be done on the premises.

Cell Phone Signal

Today mobile phones are widely used and it’s a bit silly not to check your phone’s signal while viewing a property. If you’re going to live in that place, you’re going to need a good signal, spanning across the entire residence. You wouldn’t want to hang out on your balcony to have your phone conversations.

Noise

How noisy is the place on a scale of 1 to 10? Consider buying/renting another property if it is a 5 or higher. Unless you have a really good sleep, no matter what, you wouldn’t be able to stand the noise every single day!

How to check if the place is noisy? Well, sit still for a moment or two and keep quiet. Now listen. Can you hear barking dogs, noisy neighbours, generators and fans or loud vehicles? How noisy are they? Also, can you hear your neighbours? We’re talking about normal everyday activities and not loud talking. From personal experience, we know that if you are able to recognise the movie they are watching right now, then the walls are incredibly thin. And that’s something to take into account.

Condition of Property

Are there any faults? Is everything in good working order. Have a good walk-through of the rooms and check sinks, taps, kitchen appliances, fixtures and fittings. Check for cracks, damage or other problems.

Elevator, Heating, View and Other Stuff

Is there an elevator? Is it fast? Does it work properly? Is it reliable? How about heating? If you rent or buy a property during the summer, you’re likely to forget to check the heating situation. Is there a heating system in the property?

Furthermore, what is the view? If you’re buying the property, you’re going to see the same scenery every day. Do you like it? Is there enough natural light into the property? Are the windows big enough? You need to consider all these things before buying the property. Also, is the air fresh in the house or apartment?

At The End of The Day, Ask Friends to Help You

It’s wise to ask a friend of yours to accompany you when viewing a property. Another person’s judgement – especially a friendly one! – will help you weigh the pros and cons of the given property much more easily. Besides, another set of eyes may be able to notice things you can’t see yourself, such as faulty taps, hot water not running properly, cracks on the walls or others. A friend will always tell you when they spot a problem. Normally. Additionally, if you know people who are familiar with home construction, they may be very helpful when you’re having a walk-through of the property. Different people see different things.

Same Sex Couples Have More Options to Buy a Home

Multiple states across the country now give gay and lesbian couples the right to exchange vows. Once married, those couples have access to the same programs and benefits as any other married couple, including health insurance and home ownership. Though some couples worry that they cannot easily obtain a same sex mortgage that includes both their names, there are options for those couples. Prior to applying for a mortgage though, they should give some thought to the future.

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Apply for a Joint Mortgage

A joint mortgage is really just a loan agreement that has more than one name on the application. Have you ever wondered how a parent could buy a house for his or her child? The reason is because they both applied for a joint mortgage. This puts both names on the mortgage and affects everyone involved in the purchase equally. If the house goes into foreclosure, everyone listed on the mortgage will need to appear in court, and that foreclosure will lower the credit score of everyone listed on the application. If you live in a state that does not legally permit same sex marriage, you can still apply for a joint mortgage. The lender won’t ask about your relationship or even how you know each other. A joint mortgage lets both parties share equally in the purchase of a new home.

Use One Applicant as a Cosigner

Experts recommend that couples talk about their finances prior to moving in together or marrying. When one partner has a high credit score and the other has a low credit score, problems can exist. You might also find that your partner has a large number of student loans or a high level of credit card debt that can make your chances of owning a new home difficult. If your partner has a low credit score, you might consider using your name as a cosigner. A cosigner is someone with a higher credit score and a better credit rating. As a cosigner, you agree that if your partner defaults on the loan, that you’ll take over the payments. Applying as a cosigner can also help you improve your partner’s credit score. Every payment that you make by the due date will increase his or her credit score.

Living Together without a Joint Mortgage

What happens if your partner has a significantly poor credit score? With a score below 600, you’ll have an extremely hard time finding any lender willing to take a risk on your loan. Becoming a cosigner for your partner can actually lower your credit rating as well. This shows that you have a large loan attached to your name, which can keep you from obtaining loans later. If you cannot obtain a joint mortgage and worry about how being a cosigner will affect you, you can still live together. When you apply for a home loan, apply under your own name only. The bank won’t ask you about the people living with you and won’t run a credit check on anyone not listed on the loan application.

Looking to the Future

As a same sex couple, it’s important that you look at and think about the future. The future becomes even more important when you agree to put only one of your names on the mortgage. You need to decide what will happen if you break up and who will retain ownership of the home. Many couples opt for a legal contract or agreement that states one of the homeowners will buy out the other homeowner or that both parties agree to sell the home and split any profits made from the sale. Applying for a home loan lets you purchase the perfect home for you and your partner. As a same sex couple, you can purchase a home together with one or both of your names on the mortgage.

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