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RealEstate.com: Three Ways to Seize the Opportunity of an Open House

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RISMEDIA, May 4, 2007-Home buyers all too often leave an open house simply because they didn't like the house. But what they really should be doing is taking advantage of a prime opportunity to pick up useful information that might aid in their search for a new home.

"From learning about the area to finding a good real estate agent, an open house can provide a wealth of knowledge whether you like the home itself or not," said Holly Slaughter, editor-in-chief of RealEstate.com Tips and Tools.

So, outside of learning about the home, what other kinds of information might you learn by attending an open house? RealEstate.com shares some helpful facts:

Shop for an agent

If you don't already have a real estate agent, attending an open house is a great way to find one. Agents use an open house not only to showcase the home they're working to sell, but also to prospect for new business. That means agents are often willing to talk about other properties they have listed on the market, not just the one they're working that day. After leaving an open house, collect the agent's business card and note on the back whether he or she was helpful and knowledgeable.

Network

An open house is a great networking opportunity. Chances are you'll have similar taste to those other home buyers on the market. Use that opportunity to chat with them and find out what they're looking for and in what neighborhoods. Networking with other buyers is a great way to hear about homes or neighborhoods you or your agent might not be aware of.

Listen and learn

An open house can often be crowded, whether with serious buyers, curious neighbors, or friends of the sellers. If you overhear other visitors making specific comments about the house, be sure to investigate further. But if what you hear is simply someone's opinion, it's best to ignore it given that others will always have opinions that differ from yours.

Attending an open house can be fun but be sure to bring your thinking cap. You're bound to walk away with some great tips to improve your own home buying process.

For more information, visit www.realestate.com.

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