When you are first starting the process of looking for a homes, this is a good way to learn about different areas.
First, get a list of what homes you would like to see. You can get them from search Craigslist, or simply Google Open Houses Hampton Roads and see what comes up.
Next, just like when you go to yard sales, map out your route.
When out get there, ask about the age of the windows, roof, HVAC system. Are the sellers willing to pay closing costs? Is this a short sale, how many banks are involved? Have they started the process with the bank? It can take up to 2 years to close a short sale. If you are a looking to cash in on that 8K, short sales may not be the best answer.
Also, remember when you go into an open house, that agent represents the seller. They will not divulge any information that is confidential unlesss the seller has given them permission. If you like the house and want to make an offer, that agent still represents the seller, you are their customer, not client. So even though you cannot know anything about the seller, the seller can know information about you. It is best to have an agent that represents you so you are taken care of during this whole proces.
Instead of going out there blind, you could call us, we will search homes for you, and take you to see the ones available. This is beneficial for you as you get a private showing, you get to the homes that meet your needs and wants, and in a price point you feel comfortable. Plus, you can still learn the area without trying to figure you where you are going.
Either way, it a good way to begin looking for your new home. If you do it alone, the worst that can happen is you find a home you love and not have an agent to represent you, which you need to avoid. No matter where you are, at a an open house with an agent or a for sale by owner: if you decide to write an offer, make sure the home inspection continengency is in the original offer. There are other details just as important, as well.