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4 Reasons to go to Open Houses (Even If You're Not Looking to Buy)

After a seller has staged their home and listed it on the market, it’s likely their real estate agent will recommend holding an open house. Home buyers flock to these events for a chance to get a peek inside the closets and stroll through the rooms.

But not everyone who attends open houses is looking to buy. Here are four opportunities open houses present if you’re willing to devote your weekend afternoons to them.

Learn from listing agents

Would-be sellers and nearby homeowners represent a large portion of open house traffic. You can use the open house not only to see what’s for sale and the price of comparable homes, but also to learn about the market.

Pick the brain of the listing agent to get his or her take on what’s happening in your area. Real estate agents tend to be aware of market changes well before the mainstream press.

Check out home design trends

Sellers generally put their best foot forward. Some go as far as making cosmetic updates or design/staging changes before putting their homes on the market.

They likely rely on their real estate agent to suggest the latest and greatest looks in the market. So if you’re planning to list a home that needs updating, or you aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to choosing paint colors, countertops or bath fixtures, going to open houses will allow you to see styles and designs.

Even if you’re not looking to sell, you may get some design inspiration to make your home feel like new.

Get referrals for contractor or designers

Want to be connected to a good local designer or contractor? Ask the real estate agent selling the home you liked if they can get you the contact information.

Although getting referrals from friends is also a good idea, seeing the finished product in an open house can inspire you to replicate what that owner did, and how they did it.

Fuel your daydreams

For dedicated real estate buffs, browsing the ‘for sale’ sites and flipping through listing photos isn’t enough. If you’re truly obsessed, you hit the open houses in your area to tour the home for yourself.

Watch real-life open house obsessives tour their dream homes.

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