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What You Can Learn from an Open House

There are plenty of reasons to attend open houses, whether or not you are looking to buy. Here, Houzz offers eight reasons to check out those weekend open houses near you.

Get to know your local housing market before you sell.Simply attending a few open houses in your neighborhood can teach you about the area’s housing market. The prices of comparable homes, features that are popular and attendance levels at open houses can be valuable data to gather before placing your home on the market.

Get ideas for staging. Whether you are looking for a professional to help you stage your home or want to do it yourself, attending open houses is a great way to pick up ideas. Notice wall colors, furniture arrangements, styles and accessories, and use this information to help with your own staging process.

Gather design inspiration. If you’ve recently purchased a home and are looking for decorating and remodeling ideas, local open houses can show you what other homeowners have done. It’s especially helpful to look at homes that have floor plans similar to yours.

Get comfortable in a home you are considering buying. If you’ve been seriously looking to buy for a while, and narrowed your prospects down to a few favorite homes, attending the open house can be a nice way to explore the home further and to hear what other open house attendees are saying.

Get referrals for pros. If you live in the neighborhood and are looking for a good contractor, designer or other professional, scoping out open houses can be a great way to view that pro’s work firsthand.

Be a fly on the wall. If you’re thinking of selling your home soon, having some idea of what buyers are looking for in your neighborhood can be incredibly helpful.

Meet your future agent. Seeing an agent in action is a great way to get a feel for his or her style and to consider whether you would work well together when it’s time to get serious about house shopping.

Think of it as a practice run. If you’re buying a house for the first time, it can be a good idea to get in a few practice runs before you begin your search in earnest. Once you’ve viewed 10 or more houses, you won’t be as thrown off by the process.