So you decided to buy a new home. You then scoured for hours looking for an affordable and suitable property online, compared lenders and processed your financing documents. Before long, you’ll be on the lookout for sale signs on the street and if you’re lucky, stumble upon an open house.

An open houseis a good opportunity to get a good grip at what you want to look for in a home. But how do you maximize an open house visit such that you don’t end up aimlessly wandering and wasting your time?

USE THE FOLLOWING TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST OUT OF AN OPEN HOUSE.

Learn what you can.Talk to the agent present and learn about the trends of the local market. You can inquire about home prices, the neighborhood, access to transportation, or any general information about the property or about finding a home. You don’t have to feel obliged to do anything and feign interest if you are not.

Take notes and photos.Ask the host if it is possible for you to take photos of things you want to keep in mind for later. Take note of the important information you get or any distinguishing feature that you want to remember. If you are comparing properties, taking notes and having documents to help make your comparison easy is a good strategy.

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Observe potential competition.The behavior of other buyers implies the crowd’s general interest on the home. If you like the home and have a feeling that there is competition, you might have to participate in a bidding war.

Sign in.You can leave your personal contact information or the contact number of your realtor should you be interested in the home. This way, you’ll be notified through your realtor if an offer has been made on the property and this will give you a chance to forward or modify yours.

Take your time.Don’t rush. Look into the details. Converse with people. Remember that you are shopping for a home, not a disposable toy. Good things are worth their time.

While its true that online home shopping can replace the hassle required in personal home visits, being there physically to inspect the property is still necessary and preferable. It is the reason why open houses still exist to this day.

The next time you drop by an open house, remember these things. Shop right!