What to Do at a NYC Open House

There are two types of people who will show up to a NYC open house; browsers and buyers. If you’re the latter, you want to make sure that you get everything out of the showing that you can so you can make an informed buying decision.

Attending a NYC open house is one of the best ways to check out the latest apartments available on the market. On the one hand, you’re getting to see the home in person with a group of other house hunters, which allows you the opportunity to get a sense of the home. On the other hand, you’re seeing the home with a group of other house hunters — if several of you are interested in the place, you might just end up in a bidding war! If you’re ready to attend your next open house, there are some open house best practices that you should be aware of.

Take Good Notes

Information gathering is critical to any real estate search. This applies to open houses, too.

  • Before the showing, get a notebook and make a list of the must-have attributes you’re looking for in an apartment. When you get to the open house, you’ll be able to refer to the list to see how the apartment stacks up.
  • Ask questions if one you don’t see one or more of your must-haves; there may be a reason for it. For instance, if having a washer/dryer is a requirement but you don’t see one there, find out if not having one was a personal choice of the owners or if there’s a building rule against them.
  • If you really love the apartment in spite of it missing one of your must-haves, you’ll need to figure out if that must-have can move to the “want” list.

Kick the Tires

Going to a NYC open house is an opportunity for you to examine everything. Here are a few easily overlooked things to keep in mind:

  • Utilities: Look into the electrical systems, like the number of outlets that are available — especially in older buildings, which may not have the electrical updates that newer buildings have. Also ask about the water pressure in the building (key info for people who love to take long showers!).
  • Wireless Reception: Find out about the type of cell phone network coverage that the building gets. Finding this out up front can save you massive frustration later.

Dress for Success

You don’t need to dust off your tux or bring out the pearls, but you do want to make a good impression when you show up at the open house. An open house is sort of like an informational interview for the job of your dreams, and if you really want it, you’ll want to put your best foot forward

  • Do: A good rule of thumb might be to dress fashionably business casual.
  • Don’t: Don’t show up in anything that can be construed as offensive.

Be Nice

There’s a time and a place for snark; an open house isn’t it.

  • No matter how ugly you think the apartment is, always remember that you are in someone’s home. You never know if the owner or someone connected to the owner is lurking about. Negative comments could put you on the “do no sell to” list.
  • This doesn’t mean you should overlook the negatives. Jot them all down in your notebook. They can be used as talking points in negotiations further down the road, if it gets to that point.

At your next open house drop-in, put these pro tips to work to streamline your real estate search.

Image Source: Flickr


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