What Realtors Really Wish You Knew About Open Houses

What Realtors Wish You Knew About Open Houses - Guelph Realtor Kelly Caldwell Alright, well, before I go off on tangent (because I’m about to,) let me add a disclaimer. I don’t actually do a ton of open houses any more.

I did them for the first few years I was in the business as a Guelph Realtor, but now I appreciate that there are agents who 1) like doing them a lot more than I do, and 2) are better than I am at using them to “win” clients, etc.

That being said, recently I’ve done a few open houses, because I’ve (fortunately) been so busy that I have not been able to delegate these events along to other agents. And, wow, what an eye-opener it has been.

Among the things that have crossed my mind during the last few open houses I’ve held:

First… The seller’s reasons for divesting of his property are private, and quite frankly none of your business. You may want to know why someone is selling, but you by no means need to know. And any seller’s agent worth half a damn isn’t going to tell you, because it’s our job to protect our clients’ best interests, and to safeguard their privacy.

If you arrive at an open house and you’re asked to sign in and/or to provide some form of identification, it’s actually not an infringement of your rights. Let’s be clear: You have zero “right” to enter a stranger’s home to poke around. This is a privilege that has been granted to you – so treat it accordingly. Our job as a seller’s agent is to protect the interests of our client. You prefer to be anonymous? I get that. I’m a real privacy junkie! Then look online, or sign a Buyer Rep agreement with an agent you trust, and let her arrange for private showings.

As for your personal reflections about our clients’ furniture, choice of paint or wallpaper and so forth… well, thanks. But you aren’t buying the paint, wallpaper, or most likely the furniture; you’re buying the home. If the world was filled with builder-beige houses it would be a sad place indeed. Just because a home isn’t predictably and boringly Staged doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to trash it. If you can’t say something nice (and really… can’t you?) just say nothing. Walking through anyone’s home and cutting it to shreds is just plain rude, no matter the context.

Holy cow could I go on and on. And examples? Where do I begin? Oh I know… this one. A couple of years ago, I did an open house for a property that was selling as part of a marital split. The wife had already left, and some people came through and and looked around, opened closets, saw missing artwork on the walls, and put two and two together.

“Well,” one of the visitors said to me, “this could really work out for us. ”

“Why do you say that?” I asked. “Do you like the home?”

“I do, and it’s obviously a divorce, so that could actually be great.”

I thought for a second, and then I looked and her and her mate, and said, simply, “I can only assume by that comment that you’ve never actually gone through a divorce. I have. And trust me, there is nothing great about it.”

I think I can sum it all up by saying that, in my humble opinion, we are living in a very graceless age. Manners, tact, and even plain old common sense are becoming rarer by the minute. But, you know, I remain hopeful. So, dear house-hunting readers, I will leave you with this one simple suggestion: Treat the home you are walking through as if it’s your own, because someday… it may be.

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