7 Important Questions to Ask During an Open House

Roger Pettingell


Open houses for homes for sale in Sarasota and its surrounding areas can be a casual, fun way to view a property. You will likely have the chance to speak with the owner and their agent and even ask them some need-to-know questions. Being prepared for an open house, despite its casual nature, is very important. Knowing what information you need to gather in order to make an informed decision on the property will keep your visit purposeful and streamlined. Getting caught up in the aesthetics of a property is common, especially when seeing it for the first time. Planning questions beforehand will help you stay on track and get the important information you need. Specific questions can vary from property to property, but many of these questions will likely be relevant at an open house you attend.

Why are they selling the property?

This question is simple but can give extremely important answers. Depending on the response you receive from the buyer, your interest in the property could be impacted. There will be a massive difference between a seller selling their home because they have to relocate for work versus deciding to sell because of unruly neighbors or issues with repairs. For example, knowing why the current owner is deciding to sell can help you not only decide how you should move forward with the property but help you prepare for your experience living there, should you decide to purchase the property.

Is the home vacant? If so, for how long?

Knowing whether or not the home you are interested in buying has been vacant and for how long is important when it comes to the home's structures, systems, and even cleanliness. A home that has been vacant for many months will likely need certain systems like the water and electrical looked at if they have not been used in some time. When it comes to cleanliness, there also could be excess dust accumulated in areas that have been untouched for long periods of time. Knowing how long the home has been vacant can also raise questions regarding why it has been on the market so long, and what issues the seller is experiencing that could be preventing a successful sale. All of these things are important in making a well-informed decision.

What is the ideal timeframe to complete the transaction?

Doing what you can to ensure your timeline matches the sellers will help prevent any unsightly events when it comes to timing expectations in the sale. The house could be on the market currently, but with a seller who is looking to move out in a specific number of months. If you are interested in a property that you will be able to move into immediately, these two factors will create a conflicting timeline. Making sure you have an idea of when the seller wishes to close a sale and move out of the property will allow you to decide if your timelines align.

Have they experienced any major issues with the home?

Getting insight into the home's history is essential, especially when it comes to repairs and upgrades. If a property has historical issues with heating problems in the winter, that is an important thing to be aware of before purchasing the property. Having an idea of problems the seller has experienced in the past will allow you to pinpoint any weaknesses in the property and give you insight into issues you could experience. If there are certain things that have been fixed, it is a good idea to also ask about what was done to fix them.

Which local servicers provide the utilities?

Keeping the transition from home to home smooth is always ideal, so knowing what to expect in terms of setting up utilities can help you prepare. If you are moving locally, your new home will probably be under the same utility providers you already have. If not, new accounts will likely have to be set up, and knowing if you will have to complete those processes ahead of time will allow you to minimize delays upon move-in and create an accurate to-do list.

What is the neighborhood like?

Whether you are moving locally or to a new area entirely, it is important to get an idea of what your new neighborhood is like. Every community has its own specific vibe, rules, and traditions. If you are looking for something specific in your new neighborhood, the best time to see if it fits is when talking to someone who already lives there. Getting insight into the quiet hours, neighborhood events, and other neighborhood happenings can help you decide if the area the home is in suits your needs. The community will likely be more than meets the eye, so while visually surveying as you arrive at the open house is great, hearing the non-visual details is equally as beneficial.

Have offers already been received?

When a home is listed on a channel that receives large amounts of traffic, such as the MLS, there will likely be many open houses and many other offers. If you are looking to close quickly and avoid delaying factors like bidding wars and extensive negotiations, knowing where the seller is with other offers can help you decide if you should put one in as well.

Work with an experienced real estate professional

The thrill of visiting a new property is one you will likely experience a few times in your search for a new home. Sarasota condominiums and Longboat Key luxury homes are renowned for their stunning aesthetics. Visuals are an important part of choosing a luxury home that fits you, but digging deeper than that with probing questions is essential. The questions you will need to ask will vary from property to property but also based upon your specific circumstances. A leading luxury waterfront specialist will be your best asset in helping you purchase your dream property. Contact premier realtor in Sarasota and Longboat Key Roger Pettingell today to begin your home search.


Roger’s record simply speaks for itself. He has contracted and sold over $2 billion of luxury property in Sarasota and Longboat Key.

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