Open Houses Everywhere

Posted May 13, 2024 in Realtor Spotlight

tracie demars, Clark County WA real estate agent

In real estate, a sure sign of spring is the ‘Open House’ sign everywhere, and there are a lot right now. An Open House sounds uncomplicated, right? In real estate nothing is uncomplicated and everything means more than you think. A successful real estate agent is an over-thinker. We compute, analyze, worry, multi-task, and overthink every scenario from every angle. A paper is never JUST a piece of paper, as it has a couple of different meanings…there is the real estate meaning, and what we are ‘taught’ to tell you about it. Some agents only want to tell you one side of the story.

One of the biggest misconceptions in the real estate world is the thing known as an Open House. An Open House from the public & sellers’ viewpoint is their agent holding the home open for viewing, marketing the home, and finding a buyer, right? Open houses are not as simple for the agent and really have very little to do with the actual house.

What does an Open House do? For starters, 80% of the time it’s not the listing agent holding the Open House. It’s usually an assistant or new agent. At least half (if not more) of experienced agents’ clients come from referrals from past clients (which is why I love you all for your referrals). When you start out, there aren’t any referrals, so the best place for a new agent to meet potential clients is a) on floor calls (when you call a real estate office you will be transferred to someone working ‘the floor’), or b) by holding an Open House. By sitting at the Open House, the agent has two main goals. The first is to sell themselves (not the house), and the second is to get your information, hoping they can turn you into their client. Open houses are Marketing 101, not for the seller of that home, but for the agent holding the house open. When was the last time you went to an Open House? Did the agent ask you for your information? Were you working with an agent? Did they ask you to ‘sign in’?

When it comes to Open Houses what do you NEED to know?

a) You do NOT need to give the agent holding the open house your information.

b) You do NOT have to ‘sign in’ at the open house.

c) If the home is occupied, it is the Realtor’s responsibility to be with you the entire time you are in the home.

d) Most Open Houses have cookies or something like that.

e) The Open House is a marketing tool for the agent to gain your information, and to hopefully turn you into a new client/buyer for themselves or their team.

f ) If the agent holding the Open House is hounding you about whether you have an agent, go ahead and use my name. Just because you tell the agent you are working with someone, it doesn’t mean you have to be doing so, but it does mean they will usually leave you alone after that.

g) If the agent holding the Open House is, indeed, the listing agent, or a member of the listing agent’s team, then this person works for the seller. This means the Realtor’s job is to represent and work for the seller’s best interests, not yours. Always make sure you have your own agent to represent you as the BUYER.

h) Do NOT sign any ‘Buyer Agency Representation’ type of agreement to look at an Open House! I heard recently from a couple of agents that that they will hold an Open House, and if a person looking at the house seems even remotely interested, they will whip out a buyer agency agreement, give the ‘potential’ buyer the script (or an Open House version of it), and have them sign it right there! To me this is crazy, and kind of shady. Most people won’t even ask questions until later. I’m here to tell you NOT to do that. Call me the Lone Ranger of the Real Estate World! Does that make Chris Berg over at Advantage Mortgage (503-320-0925, my Tonto?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to Open Houses. They are a great way to check out homes you might not have seen, or to check out certain neighborhoods. Go to the Open House, check out the home, eat the cookies, but be aware the agent at that Open House is looking at you as potential client material, and they will circle you. Don’t sign anything, and if you feel pressured, feel free to give the agent my name. If you DO like the home, call YOUR buyer’s agent (maybe me?), and set up a time to look at the home again. A second walk-through of the home is always good before making an offer

If you need to get preapproved, call or email Chris Berg at Advantage Mortgage. Chris is a great lender and will go over all your loan options with you to help find the best one that fits the needs of you and your family. We are always here to help!

As always, feel free to email, call or text me anytime.