Attending open houses can be fun, you can see your neighbours homes, get decorating ideas, go into large homes and dream of the possibilities; but are you doing it right? When you attend an open house the agent working that open house is there to sell that home or to connect to potential clients. Are you leading that agent on? Are you pretending to be an interested buyer? Are you not interested in the home and walk around giving negative comments?
While as a realtor we are happy to have people come through the open house, there is some etiquette that we would expect. If you are a neighbour and simply coming through to “check” out the house just let the realtor know. I often find that neighbours can be the best source of finding buyers for a home, they let all their friends know how great the neighbourhood is and they see the signs go up first, but if the realtor hosting the open house thinks you are an interested buyer they may be wasting valuable time speaking with you at an open house when they could be answering questions for a truly interested buyer. The same rules apply if you are a person who frequents open houses as something to do on the weekend or is looking for decorating ideas. A simple “I’m just looking for decorating ideas” or “I’m a neighbour, not looking to buy myself” can go a long way in an open house and will most likely guarantee you won’t be hounded for information either.
If you are a buyer who is interested in buying but the house is not what you had expected, simply leave. Remember the agent doesn’t own the house and while constructive feedback is appreciated, often the agent is aware of the condition of the home and if there are obvious defects, they are aware of that too. When you walk through an open house with lots of negative opinions and there are other people in the house, remember that this may be the home of their dreams or their budget may differ from yours and this home is all they are able to afford and they will make it work. If you walk around and provide negative comments around every corner you may be jeopardizing the sale of the home. The agent will not be offended if you simply walk in, say it’s not the right home for you and leave.
I look forward to seeing you at any open house I hold and hope if you attend other agents open houses that you keep these tips in mind, happy hunting!