When shopping for a home, you can’t go wrong attending an open house. It’s a great way to get information on a potential Elmhurst, IL home and to learn about the pros and cons of your would-be new neighborhood.

And knowing the right things to ask can help you learn more than just the basics. Here are some key inquiries for you (or your agent) to make at the next open house you attend.

  • Any offers yet? Asking this lets you know if you have competition for the home. If offers were made and rejected, try to find out why so you can come up with an offer the sellers will likely accept.
  • Has the house been under contract? If yes, ask some follow-up questions to get more details. Was there an appraisal issue? Was something major found during the home inspection? If you plan to make an offer, review the inspector’s reports so you know what issues to follow up on.
  • How long has the house been on the market? The sellers might be ready to accept a lower offer if the Elmhurst property has been listed for a long time. To gain a bit more bargaining power, ask if/when there’s been a reduction in the selling price and by how much.
  • Why are you selling? You might not get much of an answer to this, but whatever you learn can help you choose your offer price. Ask several times in different ways to see what might slip out.
  • Does the property have any liens? This would include construction liens, tax liens, or other claims from unpaid debt that you don’t want to get stuck with.
  • Will the home meet my lender’s appraisal expectations? Even though the market is improving, you can’t assume the appraisal will be at selling price. Have your agent check on pending sales so you don’t end up losing the money you’ll spend as part of the offer process.
  • Are there any other associated costs?  You want to learn this before the closing, not after. If the Elmhurst real estate is a condo or part of a closed community, ask about dues for the homeowner’s association and any other assessments. Be sure to contact the homeowner’s association to decide whether you can abide by their rules for pets, parking, etc.

Even if you like everything you hear, get the answers in writing. Your agent can follow up with the listing agent for this. And plan to have your own home inspection done regardless of what you were told. Home buying is sort of like marriage—it’s better (and easier) to break off a bad relationship before the vows are said, so the more information you get beforehand the better.

No matter what your situation, we have the knowledge and expertise to make your open house a positive experience. If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate or properties in the surrounding area, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.