The Real Purpose for Open Houses
(and it aint to sell houses)
For home buyers, an open house is a usually considered an opportunity to view a home which you are interested in buying, however, agents have different reasons for hosting open houses. The most common reason that Real estate agents hold open houses is so they can prospect or meet more potential clients. Although these agents benefit from being at the right place at the right time, these open houses are usually geared toward leading home buyers to a different, sometimes more affordable, property. But as a home seller, don’t have any illusions that agents hold open houses as the primary reason… to sell your house.
Sellers hear this!
Open houses aren’t usually a very effective tool if you are selling your home. Yea, we know that you will request this of your agent but really, they don’t want to do it anyhow. Which is why you’ll see other agents holding open houses on your property. Sure you may have a lot of viewers who come to see the house, but many of these people are probably your neighbors or others just interested in the neighborhood, rather than being interested in your particular home, or simply want to visit your home because they are curious. If you are requiring your agent to have open houses at your house make sure they are not lazy and actually keep close contact with the people rummaging through your things.
If you really want to sell your home quickly, you can make your open house more successful by cleaning the house thoroughly and removing all of your personal belongings, such as family photos, so that visitors can more easily see their own belongings in the space. Performing basic home maintenance prior to listing the house is a great idea and will serve two purposes.
- It makes your home appear to be better maintained which usually means the people selling really cared about the home in which you plan to purchase.
- It reduces the buyers ability to use an inspection report to nit-pick your house apart and attempt to drive the price down.
Buyers hear this!
When you are buying a home in Encino for example, an open house is an easy way to learn more about the neighborhood, schools as well as a particular home. Open houses are also an excellent way to basically kick-the-tires of the different houses without having the stress of the occupant eyeballing your every move. Oh yes…, while you are absolutely not required to use a specific realtor, you can choose to let the agent holding the open house represent you. Yea, that’s a bad idea for two reasons.
- You’ll end up screwing the agent you’ve been working with for 6 months out of a commission and because they are your mothers best friend will probably never speak to her again and then, there goes any civility during the holidays, especially at the dining table. And for you bachelors, you can expect drop off your laundry elsewhere.
- Never ever ever ever let the same agent represent you and the seller at the same time. How is it possible that an agent in this situation remain impartial? So, while they are trying to get the most for their seller they are also trying to get the most out of the seller? Good luck with that.
There are those agents in this business who will go as far as to tell you the buyer that the only way you will get this house is to write an offer with them because they have inside information or know the seller so well that they know what the seller is willing to “take” for the house. To these agents I say… you sir/madam, are an idiot.
But really, your agent should be with you anyhow and if they’re a good agent they will be. Besides, what can they possibly be doing that’s so much more important that trucking you and your entire family around for eight hours a day? But, if you don’t currently have an agent, or if your current agent is a Buffon and you really really want this house anyway and don’t care if you screw your agent out of a commission and make your mom hate you, just make sure you at least employ the services of an independent counsel to protect you and your investment.
Oh yea, one last thing. Make sure you visit the house you choose to make an offer on at night and on the weekends. Walk the neighborhood and speak to the neighbors. Trust me on this one.