There are many beautiful new condos in Montreal and I personally think that you won’t have a hard time finding “the one.” Nevertheless, it helps to do your homework and find out as much as you can about your options, before you decide. One of the best ways you can find the right condo for you is to attend an open house.
But first, what exactly is an open house?
It is a chance to walk through a property (a house or condo) that’s for sale without needing to bring a real estate agent with you. To view a house, you’ll need to set an appointment with an agent. But for open houses, you can go on your own. The listing agent, which is basically the seller’s agent, will host the open house.
Where to Find Open Houses
These events are listed online. Or you can also go around the neighborhood you want to relocate in check if there are “open house” sign posts in the yard or on the street. With condo developments, they’re usually posted visibly in front of the building.
So now that you know where to find open houses, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t be embarrassed.
Some of my friends have told me that they always feel hesitant to enter an open house. They fear that others may perceive them as not “rich enough” to hire a real estate agent, or are not savvy enough when it comes to house-hunting. But this is not really the case at all. An open house gives you the opportunity to inspect some properties so you can carefully weigh your options before you talk to an agent.
- Keep in mind that it’s the listing agent’s job to show you the whole property.
Whether it’s a condo unit or a house that they’re selling, don’t forget that it’s their job to show you around. You’re doing them a favor by simply being there. If they’re not very welcoming, then that is a red flag.
- Ask as many questions as you like.
Again, refer to tip #2. Naturally, if you’re interested in the home, you’ll want to find out as much information as you can about it. The listing agent knows that the more questions you ask, the more intent you have about buying the property. It’s ok to seem naïve in asking questions – they are the expert after all – not you.
- Follow the rules of their open house.
Most open houses will require you to enter your name and contact details on the sign-in sheet so please do comply. Some will ask you to remove your shoes before you enter the home, or perhaps to refrain from taking pictures. Just follow the rules they’ve set and don’t make a big deal out of it.
- Take down notes.
Some listing agents will hand you a listing sheet which contains info and pictures of the property. Use it and take down notes if you can. It’s also a good idea to read what’s stated there and ask clarifications if needed.
After you’ve checked several open houses, it’s time to sit down and take a closer look at your top options. Once you’ve compared and weighed all the pros and cons, you can finally arrive at the best decision.
Looking at several potential homes to buy can be tiring but it can also be fun. Enjoy going to the properties and appreciate the insights you’ve acquired from your house hunting.