So you’re about to spend your weekend hosting a real estate open house. Now is a good time to prepare yourself for some tricky questions buyers will be sure to ask and you definitely don’t want to be caught off guard.
Take a look at some of the most common questions buyers ask at open houses. You should plan your replies in advance so that you sound convincing, knowledgeable and trustworthy.
10 Tricky real estate open house questions from buyers
1. Why do sellers want to sell?
While you’re not required to disclose this info, not doing so will make you look like you’re concealing something bad, for example, some big problem with the property. The best way out is to discuss everything with your sellers beforehand.
2. How long has the property been on the market?
The time a property sits on the market is important information for buyers. If the property has been listed for a long time, be ready to explain why.
At the same time, if the property has only been recently listed and you already have offers, you can say that it will likely be sold soon. This adds urgency to the situation and might make buyers put forward their offer sooner.
3. How many offers have you got?
If the agent says they’ve received multiple offers, everyone presumes the price has to be higher in order to compete. Think about your strategy here in advance and in many cases it’d make sense to disclose the number of offers you’ve received.
4. What’s wrong with the house?
Don’t say everything is top-notch even if there are no serious problems with the house. You must list every issue the buyer can encounter. In fact, some countries like the US, require that a seller provides a written seller’s disclosure. You should have a handful of copies at the real estate open house so buyers can take a look.
5. What are the homeownership costs?
You can prepare a printout breaking down homeownership costs, utility expenses and taxes. Buyers will find it easier to navigate through this info. Be prepared that buyers may ask to see the most recent utility bills so ask a seller to give these to you before the real estate open house.
6. When was the last time the property was updated?
Buyers are not talking about small home improvements that sellers did before listing the property but global ones, for example, wiring. Get the answer from your sellers to be able to reply instantly.
7. How has the price changed during the time the property has been on the market?
Again, this helps buyers determine whether the asking price was realistic and what they should offer. If the price has been changed a couple of time, it’s best to print out a timeline to save yourself some time.
8. Is this a good neighborhood?
An idea of a good neighborhood can differ for many people. In any case, do your best to explain the great things the area has to offer.
9. Who are the neighbors?
You probably don’t know the neighbors personally so stay professional and tactful. Consider giving some info about where they work and if the family is large and that should suffice.
10. How long is the seller ready to wait?
This is a reasonable question from buyers who need this info to be able to plan their mortgage as well as the offer should they decide to bid for the property. For example, giving them more time to sort out their mortgage might lead to a great deal so consider leaving yourself some options. If they’re ready to make an earnest payment, they’re serious.
You can’t know every question people can ask you at the real estate open house but you can figure out a great deal of them based on your experience, local market and the property itself. Do this in advance and don’t get caught off guard.
I’ve been planning to sell my single-family home in New York City, that’s why I’ve decided to have an open house for it. Thank you for this; I’ll keep in mind that when a buyer asks if how long has the property been in the market, I’ll quickly reply that it has been recently listed and other buyers are already interested in it. Maybe it’s also best if I’ll start looking for a real estate company that can help me with the open house preparation.