5 Questions to ask at an Open House: special tips for southwest Florida buyers

Posted by Pat Wilkins on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 at 11:43am.

5 Questions to Ask at a Marco Island Open House

The open house is one of those special weekend traditions in the real estate business. As the season heats up, the doors open and all kinds of people walk through the home to discover more. Even if you’re not immediately interested in making a purchase, it’s still a great way to get a better feel of the real estate market in your area and try and potentially get a better idea what your home is worth. On your next open house visit, ask the hosting agent these 5 important questions.

1. How long has the home been on the market?

This is always a great place to start because it helps you gauge the overall interest in the property. If the home has not been on the market long, ask about pending offers--the sellers may be expecting a quick sale. If the house has been on the market for quite a while, it opens up a whole new line of questioning: is the home overpriced or is there something undesirable about the property you’re missing (these are the times where it pays to have a knowledgeable agent).

2. Do the sellers have an occupancy timeline?

This is another easy qualifier for you as a buyer. If you need immediate occupancy, but the seller hasn’t purchased another place, it’s probably not a good fit. If the seller already has another place to go, or if you’re in a resort town like us here on Marco Island, the seller may not even be returning to town for six months, so there is no occupancy worry.

Real Estate Open House Marco Island Florida


3. What kind of water access do I have?

Now this is one of those questions specifically for buyers on Marco Island. Water access is an important price consideration, and without direct access, you may not be able to purchase that big boat you want to take down to the Keys for the weekend. You can read all about access in our previous post.

4. Do you have a recent inspection report?

There’s nothing more frustrating for buyers than finding a home you love and making a good offer, only to get a home inspection with a long list of issues needing major attention (and it happens all too often in areas like Marco with renters). A recent inspection report will assuage your fears before you get your hopes up!

5. Are the sellers full-time or seasonal residents? And did they have renters?

Another important question for warm weather destinations like southwest Florida. This gives you a general idea of what kind of use the home received over the past few years. Although it’s not always the case, home with renters may experience a bit more of everyday “wear and tear” and seasonal properties, especially in warm climates like Marco Island, require the buyer to take extra precautions to make sure the home was maintained properly during the off-season.

Now even the best questions cannot give you the peace-of-mind of a local expert. Your real estate agent may have important pieces of information you may have yet to consider. They may know the listing agent, the sellers, the area, the neighbors or even sold the unit in the past. When you want to find a perfect home, trust an agent who is an area expert. Learn more.

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