When looking at homes for sale in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, you will certainly have your choice of a variety of styles and prices of properties. Throughout the North Shore there are so many houses to choose from that looking through the realty magazine publications and surfing the web can only take you so far. Every weekend there are plenty of local real estate agents hosting open houses. As a buyer, this is a great opportunity to narrow your search and find your dream home.Making use of the current real estate technology can be helpful.

Here are some things you should know to use open houses to your greatest advantage:

Finding Open Houses

Buying a home takes timing, persistence, and an effective strategy. If you are sitting around waiting for your dream house to appear in a magazine or to get an alert by e-mail, you’ll discover very quickly the houses are being bid on and placed under contract faster than ever. Many real estate agents are hosting open houses days after getting the listing because they know offers are coming in at record paces. The open house is your opportunity to see the house from the inside out. Shelly Vallee at All Around Realty will message you a list of all open houses in any part the Greater New Orleans area you want to live, allowing you to use your valuable time for anything other than scouring the internet and local newspapers for open house listings.

If you can spend as much as a half hour in each home, including traveling, you should easily be able to get into a dozen houses on a Sunday.

Map Out Your Day

It is one thing to have your list of a dozen potential houses in your hand, it is another to make the most of the day. Rather than getting in your car and just knocking off the list in order, plan your most efficient route and maximize your day on the road. The night before the open houses, take your list and open up Google Maps.  Take a piece of paper and draw a rough sketch of the perimeter of the city. As you locate an open house on Google Maps, mark it on your drawing. By time you work through the list, you’ll have all twelve spots marked on your map.

Determine which open house is closest to your home and mark that location as number one. Mark the next closest address as number two. Find the closest address to number two, and continue marking the map until all twelve are numbered. Instead of driving all around in random patterns, you have a guide to get to from point A to Z without wasting a single minute.

Walking the Outside of the House

When you are selling a home, not only is the inside made presentable, but a considerable amount of time is also spent working on the outside. The realtor hosting the open house will encourage potential buyers to look everywhere and ask anything, so let them know you want to see the outside. Walk the perimeter of the property. The trees, shrubs, and flowers may look stunning, but look beyond the landscaping. Look to see if the neighbors have a barking dog chained along the fence line and if the fence is maintained all around the property. Make note of what types of property are adjacent to yours.

You can discover a lot about your neighbors and the neighborhood in general by walking the property for fifteen minutes and looking and listening.

Looking in Every Area of the House

One of the biggest mistakes that potential home buyers make is walking in the open house and briefly taking a peek in each room before leaving. Not only is the realtor there to answer your questions and concerns, this is your chance to see all the areas of the house that you cannot see online or in a real estate magazine. Once inside, take a look in the garage to see how much space is available. Look in the attic to see if it is easily accessible and if you can store your stuff there without issue. In each bedroom, check out the size of the closets, and if there is room inside to go up and add shelving to maximize space. Open the kitchen cabinets, look inside bathroom vanities, and don’t be afraid to open the curtains and look at the view outside each window.

The homeowners have left the real estate agent in charge, and you basically have free reign over every inch of the house. Maximize your time here and look at every little detail to help you determine if this is the house or not.

Having Your Realtor on Standby

When you are selling your home, the realtor at the open house is ready to accept offers on the spot. If you find a home that you simply want to secure before other bidders get in front of you, tell your realtor in advance that you will call them if you want to make a serious offer. If close enough, your realtor can meet you at the house, they can talk with the listing agent, and they can present an offer to the agent right there at the open house. By the time the other potential buyers get home, your realtor will have already written up and presented the offer to the homeowner.

When it comes to buying houses, you want to do your due diligence in a timely manner before the house is taken off the market. Visiting the most open houses each weekend and having your realtor at the ready will ensure you present the right offer that gets serious consideration by the home owner.

Now that you have a plan to cover as many open houses as possible and the knowledge of important details that buyers often overlook, don’t delay in your search to find your dream home. Put your plan into action this week. Get things lined up so that when you walk into the house that you know is the one, you will be in the best position to get an offer presented before other potential buyers.