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Are you a professed open house snooper? Do you love popping into open houses even if you’re not looking to sell or buy? While touring an open house is an important step for most buyers, there’s still a lot you can learn even if you’re not presently in the market. For example:

Get staging or design inspiration. Most open houses are professionally staged, so checking one out,  especially if it’s similar in size or style to your own, can be a great way to get a sense of how different colours and furniture styles look. When it comes time to stage your own for sale, you might have some great ideas.

Get to know your price point. Taking a look through different open houses that are either similar to your own, or in a price point you plan to buy in, can give you a reality check. If you keep seeing homes in your price range that just don’t fit the bill, it might be time to increase your budget or be prepared to compromise. The same goes for your current home. If you see similar spaces that sell for a lot less, you might want to rethink your sales strategy.

Learn what doesn’t work. Open houses can also be a great chance to see some seriously misguided renovations or decor choices. Did someone take down a wall and lose a valuable potential home office? Undertake a bathroom renovation that just didn’t make sense? Learning what doesn’t work in a similar home, or what features you absolutely couldn’t compromise on can be valuable, too.

Most listing agents know that a certain number of open house visitors are there out of curiosity, not because they’re in the market, so don’t be shy! There’s still a lot you can learn from browsing open houses whether you’re looking to buy immediately or not.

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