The Ultimate Guide to Open Homes

Are you in the market for a new home? Attending open homes is a great way to get a feel for different properties and see what’s available in your desired area. However, with so many homes to see, it can get overwhelming, especially if you’re seeing multiple properties in one day. Being prepared and knowing what to look out for can help you stay focused and make the most out of your visit.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to prepare for an open home and what to look out for during your visit.

Before Going to an Open Home

Know Your Priorities

Make a list of your must-haves and deal-breakers, such as the number of bedrooms, outdoor space, and preferred location. This will help you quickly eliminate properties that don’t meet your criteria.

Pay attention to the layout of the home. Does it flow well and meet your needs? Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms for your family? What direction would you like the house to face? Is there enough space for your pet? These are some factors to consider when deciding if a property is right for you. If you’re on the journey of buying your first home, it’s healthy to keep in mind that your first home may not tick all the boxes and it will not be your forever home, so knowing your top priorities and what you will be willing to compromise on are crucial.

Figure Out Your Budget

Before attending an open home, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your budget and priorities. This will help you narrow down your search and focus on properties that meet your needs.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

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If you’re planning on buying a home, it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage before attending open homes. This will give you a better idea of your budget and show sellers that you’re a serious buyer.

Getting pre-approved also allows you to move quickly if you find a property you love. In a competitive market, this can give you an advantage over other buyers. At Wallace & Stratton, we work closely with an in-house mortgage broker, Guardian Smith, who understands that mortgages and home buying are completely individual and can help you find one that will fit your needs.

Research the Area

Before attending an open home, do some research on the area. Look into the local schools, public transport, crime rates, and amenities. This will give you a better understanding of the neighbourhood and help you determine if it’s a good fit for you.

What to Look Out For During an Open Home

Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to attend an open home. Here are some things to look out for during your visit.

Check Out the Neighbourhood

Go for a walk around the area, see the neighbouring houses, and take note if the surrounding area is tidy; if people park on the street or in their carpark or garage; if people have pets that may be noisy. E.g. barking dogs or chirping pet birds. 

If you happen to run into people in the neighbourhood, that’s your opportunity to strike up a conversation and ask them a few questions. Find out how they like the area, if there’s any noise pollution, how the traffic is during peak hours, and if there have been any recent home and car break-ins or theft.

Inside and Outside of the Property

Attending an open home of a new build is quite different from one of an existing home. Most developers would finish building their show home first, so you can view the staged show home and get a look and feel of the final product and quality. You can see for yourself how the kitchen flows, benchtops, carpet or flooring, or how the tiling in the bathroom will look like. Though, often, you’re viewing a building site, where houses are half-built and the driveway is partly done. There could be a Health and Safety briefing before you can enter to ensure your safety. 

Building materials: Each house in the development may use and offer different flooring, appliances, and fixtures. It’s important to read and understand the specifications list which is usually broken down into categories such as foundation, exterior, interior, kitchen, plumbing and electrical. The specification list will also tell you what colour ways, light or dark, you can expect to see in the house. 

As a tip for a new home buyer, it’s handy to know what the exterior wall cladding and roof are made of as this information is needed when you take out your home insurance. 

House orientation: Know which direction the house faces to figure out when you’ll get sunlight in each room of the house, better yet, see if any big trees or structures outside the house may block the sunlight.Explore the essential guide to navigating open homes with ease. Learn how to prepare, what to prioritize, and key considerations during your visit to find your dream home. Perfect for first-time buyers and seasoned home-seekers alike

Electrical: Check the quantity and position of the power point outlets in each room so you can plan where your electronics can go. 

Storage and parking: Have a peek inside the cabinets, closets, and cupboards and envision if there would be enough space for all your belongings or if you would need to go through a ‘keep, donate, toss’ exercise. Also, check where you and your visitors can park – is it in front, beside, or behind the property and how easy it is to get in and out of your parking.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the open home. The real estate agent should be able to provide information about the property, such as the expected completion date, what the price includes, details of the fixtures and fitting, and if there are any body corporate or resident association fees. This way, you roughly know when you may be able to move in and adjust your finances accordingly.

You can also ask about the neighbourhood and any upcoming developments that may affect the property. This will give you a better understanding of the house and its area which would help you make an informed decision. 

After the Open Home

After attending an open home, take some time to reflect on your visit. Did the property meet your expectations? Was there anything else that may affect your decision? Would you want to go back and visit the property at a different time or day of the week?

If you’re interested in the property, it’s important to act quickly. In a competitive market, homes can sell fast, so it’s important to be prepared to make an offer, with the assistance of a lawyer, if you find a property you love.


Attending open homes is an important part of the home-buying process. By being prepared and knowing what to look out for, you can make the most out of your visit and find the perfect home for you and your family.

Remember to stay focused on your budget and priorities, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Our team at Wallace & Stratton is here to help with your new build or off-the-plan purchase, making the process stress-free. Check out our current developments and see what fits your needs.