6 Important Questions to Ask During an Open House

6 Important Questions to Ask During an Open House

In some markets, open houses have gone to the wayside in favor of online listings. However, when you skip an open house because you can “see it online” the same, you’re missing an excellent opportunity to talk with the seller or agent and learn more about the area, the home, and Toronto or Forest Hill real estate in general.

If you’re looking at Toronto or Yorkville homes for sale, open houses will give you a wealth of information you simply can’t get from a listing. And with a little preparation, you will get more than your money’s worth at each open house. Read on to discover the six upmost questions to ask when viewing a home!

Is this a flip?

With the rise of HGTV, home flipping has become incredibly common. No area or market is safe, including Forest Hill real estate. However, the presence of a home flipper doesn’t always imply that the house is a bad deal or that you shouldn’t buy it!

If the answer is yes — the house is a flip — you know it has probably been recently updated. New paint, probably new flooring, and new fixtures are all standard. You need to look at the quality of the finishings, though. Yorkville homes for sale that are flips are generally very well done because a quality flipper understands their market. Look out for poorly designed kitchens: Do the cabinets bump each other awkwardly? Do the appliances not fit well? Also, look out for lumpy or flat-out bad tile work and mismatched or out-of-place finishes, like gold fixtures in the shower but silver on the bathroom sink. These are all signs you want to stay away. At the very least, proceed with caution!

When was the roof/water heater/central air last replaced?

Is this all information that will come up in an inspection of the home? Absolutely! However, when looking at Forest Hill real estate, it’s essential to know what you’re getting into before you get to that point. Ideally, a long time before.

Ask the agent or the seller about the home's repair history and when the main components were last replaced (if they know). It is heartbreaking to fall in love with a house just to realize at inspection you need to spend another $10,000 on a new roof or $6,000 on a new heating and cooling system

How long has the house been on the market?

This question doesn’t have the same impact it had a few years ago, but if you’re looking at Yorkville homes for sale and an open house, it’s still a fair question. Even before the pandemic, homes in Toronto generally left the market very quickly. But 2021 brought a buying frenzy and pushed prices even higher.

If you go to an open house looking at Forest Hill real estate, be wary if the agent tells you the home has been on the market for several weeks. That’s a big red flag and could mean that there is either something wrong with the house or the price.

What is included in the sale?

First-time buyers are often shocked to learn things like a washer, dryer, and even the fridge in the kitchen don’t have to be included in the sale. What the seller chooses to list is up to their discretion.

Asking the seller's agent what this particular Forest Hill real estate property is selling with will help temper your expectations and give you an idea of a reasonable purchase price. It should go without saying, but Yorkville homes for sale that include all the appliances and extras will sell for more than homes with nothing in them. A seller might also be willing to negotiate what is included, which is valuable information to keep in mind when walking through the home.

What does the seller’s schedule look like?

No, you’re not asking them out to dinner. With this question, you are getting valuable information on how fast the seller wants, or needs, to move from the home. If you know you have to be out of your current Forest Hill real estate within 60 days of the open house, a seller with no firm timeline or desire to move might not fit your needs. A seller that needs at least 60 days after an offer to move is certainly not the right fit for you!

Knowing your timetable and the seller's schedule can help you weed out houses that, for practicality’s sake, won’t work.

What is the neighbourhood and this street like?

When you ask a seller what the neighbourhood and street are like, you should find out about the community. Are the neighbours close? Are there regular parties for everyone? Does everyone on the street keep to themselves? What about kids or dogs? Is this a good community for your lifestyle and your family?

This is information you only can get from the seller specifically, and an open house is a great time to learn more. You should come out of the conversation knowing if the neighbourhood is going to be a good fit for your family or not, no matter what you’re looking for from your Forest Hill real estate.

Ready to buy?

Are you using an agent in the selling process? Many of these questions about Forest Hill real estate can be answered by your agent, who can guide you through the process of looking at listings, touring open houses, and help you find the perfect home for you and your family.

When you’re ready to take that next step and get serious about your home search, reach out to the Forest Hill Yorkville Real Estate Group. With nearly 40 branches specializing in various unique home types, they can help guide you through the complex process and set you up for real estate success. It doesn’t matter what you need from your next home; they can get you there.

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Forest Hill Yorkville is a team of Ontario real estate experts. They specialize in a variety of unique estate homes, chalets, cottages, condominiums, and commercial property from Forest Hill to Yorkville to Rosedale. Clients get an unrivaled level of service, dedication, marketing, and professionalism. Contact the team today.