An open house gives you an opportunity to check out a Greenville or Winterville, NC, home for sale that you may be interested in purchasing.

    You will be able to walk from room to room to see if the home meets your needs, and to see the general condition that it's in. You also can check out the front yard and the backyard and any outbuildings on the property.

   But the open house is not meant to be an in-depth investigation. It's a chance to get an overview of the property and make a decision about whether you are interested in finding out more -- or whether you can mark it off your list.

   If you like what you see during your quick tour, you can schedule a showing of the house with your real estate agent.

   At a scheduled open house, the host agent will be on hand to point out the home's features and answer questions. This agent is there to represent the seller, who will not be on the property.

   The host agent probably will give you a description sheet with information about the house including square footage and special features. If the agent doesn't hand you a sheet, ask for one. Use it to make notes during your tour of the home, so you can remember details, the things you like and things you don't.

   Here are some other tips for getting the most out of an open house:

   1. Notice the time the open house is scheduled and arrive promptly. Don't get there early, and don't get there so late that you can't view the house before the time it's scheduled to end.

   2. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You may be walking up and down stairs. You also will want to walk around the house to view it from the outside.

   3. Ask for permission before taking photos or videos. Remember, this is someone else's house.

   4. Don't rummage through closets or cabinets. You can look to see if there is enough storage space, but don't touch the homeowner's personal property.

   5. Keep a poker face, especially if you have walked into your dream home. The host agent works for the seller and wants to get the best offer for the house. You may lose bargaining power if you squeal about how much you love it.

   6. Don't be critical, even if you think the home has garish wallpaper or ugly cabinets. You may decide that you want to purchase the house and renovate it, and the seller may choose another buyer if he knows you badmouthed his home.

   7. Watch what you say about your home search. It's OK to chit-chat with the agent and any other people who may be at the open house, but they don't need to know how many houses you've looked at, and how long you've been searching, and when you need to move.

   8. It's OK to ask questions, politely. Ask about why the seller is moving, how long the house has been on the market, if there have been any offers.

   9. Be polite to the host agent. Sign in when you enter, smile, thank him when you leave. If you don't have a real estate agent, consider this an interview, to see if you would like to work with him. If he is trying to solicit your business and you already have an agent, tell him.

   10. If you think you may be interested in purchasing the house, ride around the neighborhood before you leave. Notice the condition of the homes and yards, how close you are to shopping, restaurants and schools. Roll down the windows and listen to the sounds of the neighborhood like traffic or barking dogs.

   Visit www.greenvillencopenhouse.com to find out about open houses that are scheduled in Greenville and Winterville, NC, and the surrounding area.

 To keep up with Greenville real estate and Winterville real estate news, home-buying and home-selling tips, decor and landscaping ideas, giveaways, and eastern North Carolina happenings, make sure to Like the Tyre Realty Group Facebook page..