5 Questions to Ask at an Open House

Brigid Robertshaw and Marisa O'Brien (908) 230-0052

When you go to your next open house, ask the listing agent these key questions to help you make an informed decision. When a property is hot, a public open house may be your best opportunity for due diligence before submitting an offer. While the hosting agent may not be able to answer all of your questions, there is a lot you can learn.

1. How long has it been on the market?  You may already have this information, as it is usually readily available.  However, if you’re getting your information from a real estate portal, it may not be accurate.  Also, there are times when a listing is removed and relisted to help it appear “fresh” to the market. The true “days on market” is a good indication of how the market is responding.

2. Have there been any price changes?  Price adjustments will give you clues about the seller’s level of motivation. Sometimes, sellers make the mistake of overpricing their home and a quick correction in price shows that they are serious about selling. A house that languishes on the market for a long time before reducing by an insignificant amount tells you that the seller is either not negotiable, or not motivated to sell.

Sign Up for E-News

3. Have there been any offers?  Since you are attending an open house, one might assume that the seller hasn’t had any bites... that’s not always the case.   Sometimes, the seller has received an offer and still wants to hold the open house just to see if any other offers come in that might be higher (or can be used as back-up). You may even be surprised to learn that a seller has rejected offers.

4. Do you have a copy of the Sellers Disclosure?  Most of the time, the agent will either have a copy on hand or can send it to you and your agent.  The disclosure covers many details about the home and the seller explains what he/she knows about the home.  If there have been renovations, the specifics will be listed.  If there has been a problem with the house, some details should be given.

5. What is the seller’s timeline?  This is another question that can reveal much about the seller’s motivation.  If a quick closing is desired, this could mean the seller is already committed to buy somewhere else and will want to unload the house as soon as possible. When you go into an open house and it’s vacant, the listing agent might be willing to share some details about why. It could be an estate, a divorce, an investment property, a foreclosure, or the seller may have already bought elsewhere and moved out.

These questions will help arm you with enough information to make an appropriate offer if it's the right house.  Talk to your real estate agent about all of it in context with the current market.  Your agent can best guide you and gather any additional information necessary.

The Sold Sisters, Brigid Robertshaw and Marisa O’Brien are proud to be recognized by Five Star Professional as 2017 Rising Star Real Estate Agents.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home and want the highest level of service, please contact us at soldsistersrealty@gmail.com or call 908-230-0052.


Keller Williams Realty - A New Generation of Positive,Professional & Tech Savvy Realtors. Keller Williams Realty is located at 188 Elm Street in Westfield and serves the communities along the train lines including Westfield, Cranford, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Mountainside, New Providence, Berkeley Heights and the surrounding communities. Call us today at 908-233-8502

Are you considering selling your home? Take advantage of our home sales expertise and marketing experience to ensure your home is sold in reasonable time and for top dollar. Get a FREE in-depth home Value Report, and find out more about a detailed marketing plan and how it can help sell your home faster, and for top dollar.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Driver Escapes Icy River After Car Goes Off GSP Near Clark/Cranford Border

March 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — A car went off the road and into the river on the northbound Garden State Parkway between the Clark and Cranford exits during Wednesday night’s snow storm.

According to Clark’s chief of police, Pedro Matos, the car’s driver managed to escape the water — divers went into the river and determined the car to be empty. The sole occupant was ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM


March for Our Lives - Westfield

Government Law & Justice

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

Westfield Police Blotter: More Than $2K Worth of Items Reported Stolen from Business, & More

March 21, 2018

March 11, 2018 6:42 p.m.

Marion Bethea, age 56, of Roselle, was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for her arrest from Columbia Municipal Court in the amount of $500 pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on recognizance.


March 16, 2018 11:16 a.m.

Blas Barquin, age 34, of Cranford, NJ, was arrested on the strength of an outstanding ...

All Are Invited to Learn More about Youth & Family Counseling Service

March 21, 2018

Youth & Family Counseling Service (YFCS) has been helping area residents coping with mental illness, substance abuse and behavioral health issues since 1918. As a celebration of 100 years of service, all are invited to a gathering on Sunday, April 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Community Room of The Pointe at Garwood.

Started 100 years ago as the Mission of Help by St. Paul’s ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Can I Change My Partner?

March 21, 2018

Couples oftentimes look to change the “other.” “If only” the other would make these changes, or do as I say, our relationship would be great. We tend to focus on the other. We tend to focus on changing the other. We tend to focus on the other’s negative behavior. Couples like to report what their spouse/partner is doing and how they are ...

16 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Sixteen homes sold last week, March 11 to March 18, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford:*


TOWN        ADDRESS                  STYLE           RMS    ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Suspended Hillsborough HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...