Open Houses for sale – What Can You Learn?

by Jana Kading

Looking for something to do on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon instead of watching Chip and JoJo do home renovations on TV? Want to see some real life home renovation ideas? Thinking of selling your home in the near future and wonder if your home’s upgrades (or lack thereof!) compare to others that are for sale nearby?

Open houses in homes that are for sale offer a wealth of information not just for home buyers, but also for future home sellers. Set aside an hour or two on a Saturday or Sunday, pick a neighborhood (your own, or somewhere really cool like Claremont Buckner White Rock in East Dallas), and Google: “Claremont open houses June 17.” You could also visit a couple new build communities and spend some quality time in the model homes.

Up will pop a list – M Realty Group recommends Realtor.com – it is the most accurate since it pulls directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) every 15 minutes. Figure 30 minutes per house including drive time since you will be within one neighborhood, and you can take in the amazing renovation ideas in 4-5 houses in one afternoon!

If you are looking in your own neighborhood, compare the following to your own home:

  • Upgrades to kitchen and bathrooms
  • “Character” like original hardwoods, built ins, original bathroom tile in excellent condition
  • Floor plan or layout
  • Window replacement
  • Backyard amenities like pool/spa, work shed, shade structures
  • Level of furniture staging
  • Color palettes
  • Curb appeal

Kitchens generally bring the highest renovation return-on-investment, followed closely by updated bathrooms. Update levels vary from painting existing cabinetry/vanities to complete replacement. Replacement indicates some level of updating/inspection to plumbing and electrical and is considered better. A renovation will usually have new light fixtures and counter/vanity tops.

These days, extensive remodeling will open up previously compartmentalized rooms resulting in a more open floor plan, which is definitely the trend in new build housing. Opening walls and adding ceiling support beams also indicates updated/inspected electrical and HVAC ductwork. When considering open floor plans, be sure to think about the rooms traffic flow and where you will place furniture and the ever larger television!

Make use of open houses to educate yourself about housing trends in your area – they are free and some even provide snacks and adult beverages like 4730 Harvest Hill in North Dallas this evening 530pm to 730pm!