Visit an open for inspection before you are ready to buy so you can grow your confidence. Learn how open for inspections work so when it comes time to buy you will be ready.
This is Day #11 of the 30-Day Property Journey. Over the next 30 days I’m taking you through different activities that you can do to become more confident in investing and to become a more skilled investor and so hopefully you can buy your first property.
Today we will discuss going to an open for inspection. I’m going to cover in detail why it’s important for you to go to open for inspections even if you’re not looking at property and even if you’re not ready to buy.
I’ll also tell you some of the things you can expect at an open for inspection.
Go to a Local Open for Inspection
I suggest going to an open for inspection in your local area because it is just so much easier if it’s just around the corner and you can walk rather than drive.
The easiest way to do this is to go on realestate.com.au, go to the buy section and search in your local area and most of the listings show somewhere when there is an open for inspection. Occasionally you will need to call in order to arrange an open for inspection or to find out the time.
Often times you don’t even have to talk to the specific real estate agent. All you have to do is ask someone about the open for inspection and they will let you know when it is. Generally a good time to go it might be on weekends if you are not working.
Why is an Open for Inspection Important?
I find that one of the biggest things that holds people back from investing in property is fear of the unknown. Maybe you don’t know what the buying process is or you don’t know what to expect. Going for an open for inspection will allow you to be free to make mistakes and ask silly questions without feeling pressured to buy.
I learned this from Tim Ferriss who is the author of The 4-Hour Work Week and he calls it “no stakes learning”. What you do is learn a skill without any risks. That way if something goes wrong you won’t experience a negative impact on your financials because of it.
You may lose a Saturday afternoon looking at properties or you may have looked a little bit silly by asking the wrong questions but you learn and know what to do in the future so that when it does come time to buy you will be so much more experienced.
I find that going to open for inspections increases your confidence every single time you go because you become more relaxed and know exactly what to expect in the process. I therefore suggest that before you’re ready to buy you have to try to go to an open for inspection.
What can you expect at an open for inspection?
Generally open for inspections are at a set time and you want to try to be there on time because they generally only last for about half an hour. When you arrive there will probably be some other people there. You just park on the street and then you walk in and the real estate agent will greet you at the door or as you walk into the main living area.
What they are going to do is ask you for your name and phone number. It is really important for them to get to know who the potential buyers are so that they can follow up. Just decide if you are going by yourself if you want to give them your name and you could just give them a fake number if you really don’t want them to call you.
I’ve done this many times before. I remember I went to an open for inspection with my mother-in-law and she was really nervous about giving her name and number because then the real estate agent calls you, hassles you and tries to talk about buying the property. What I did was take charge when we went in as a group. I told them that I was looking at buying the house and gave them my name and number. That way my mother-in-law could look around without being hassled.
The reason they ask for your name and number is because they will most likely follow up with a phone call later in the week and ask you if you are a serious buyer and what you thought of the property.
When this happened to me I simply let them know that I was just in the area and was curious but not actually interested in buying the property. Once you say that they know not to waste their time with you and hang up pretty quickly after thanking you for your time. So it’s really not a major issue that you have to worry about.
In most open for inspections you would then be free to roam around the property. You can go upstairs, you can go into the backyard, or you can look around in general. The real estate agent will usually stay around the main living area and may involve you in a conversation and start talking to you about the area, the property or where you are at in the buying cycle and things like that.
This is a time where you can say that you are just doing an activity to become more confident with open for inspections or you can let them know that you are thinking of buying in this area and you can ask questions like:
- What makes this house special?
- What’s the area doing (is it depressed or is it growing)?
- What do you think this property would rent for if I was buying it as an investor?
You can begin to ask those sorts of questions. Rarely the real estate agent will take you around the property and show you each room and give you details for each room for you. I prefer it when you can just walk around yourself but occasionally this is good because they highlight things that you may not have realized about the property and you can begin to learn about the property.
Once you’ve had a look at the property you can just leave whenever you want. Once you are done looking around you can walk out and just thank the real estate agent. If you aren’t serious about buying then you could tell them that you are still looking at other properties in the market or that the property wasn’t quite right for you.
They are almost always really nice and easy to get along with. Usually they will be happy that you did a look through even if you’re not actually interested in buying the property because it’s their job to hold open for inspections that are open to the public.
Having more people come through is also really good because it can push people who are actually considering buying the property to act faster and try to buy the property as soon as possible so that they don’t miss out. So really just being there is really helping the real estate agent.
By doing this you can also become more confident knowing that you’re going to this open for inspection and you are actually really helping the real estate agent by making the property look like it’s more popular.
There is the advice for today. Sometime this week you should go to at least one open for inspection so you can see the process and see how it works. You can also get over the nerves of not knowing exactly what’s going to happen in an open for inspection and when it comes time to buy a property you can be a master at open for inspections.
Tomorrow we going to be talking about another activity and it’s actually going to be buying an investment book. I am going to be talking through some of my favorite property investment books that I recommend that you look into and also why it’s so important to buy a book and what a property investment book can do for you.
Until tomorrow stay positive.