Open House Behavior TipsSilicon Valley real estate professionals will usually do open houses while marketing their listings, and at these events, they have the opportunity to meet new people who may be interested in the property.  The potential home buyers who truly want the condo, townhouse or house would do well to know that in a hot seller’s market, their behavior at the open house could influence the ultimate outcome as to whether or not they will be the successful bidders when it comes time to present the contracts.

Here, then, are a few tips for aspiring home owners – a few thoughts, Dos and Don’ts  on how to help move the odds into your favor when meeting the listing agent or a colleague of the listing agent’s when visiting the home.

    1. Think of the open house as not just your opportunity to check out the property, but also for the seller’s agent to check you out.  Many people may want the house, but only one buyer or couple will get it.  Make a positive impression.
    2. Do either remove your shoes or at least ask if you ought to do so.  (Or come with your own shoe covers.) Usually the property will be clean and the sellers and their Realtor will want it to remain that way.
    3. Do say hello to the real estate licensee at the home and introduce yourself with your first or full name.
    4. Many agents will ask you to “sign in”.  If so, do that but also make a note there of who your agent is (assuming that you have a buyer’s agent) since often these sign in sheets will be used for follow up and you want to be transparent that you already have your own agent. If you don’t, by the way, you should! If there’s no sign in sheet, do tell the agent that you have a Realtor so that he or she knows this upfront.
    5. Need a Realtor?  Want the listing agent?  Careful there….  If you love the house but do not yet have your own real estate agent, be careful about the way in which you ask the listing agent if he or she can represent you (if that is what you want – which I do not recommend, see related reading notes below*).  Sometimes total strangers will approach the person holding the house open and say things that imply that they do not value the agent’s expertise at all – that they believe that the agent is only an order taker who will complete the paperwork and get a huge commission, of which the buyer wants a slice.  This is not a heart-warming comment to make and in fact is pretty insulting.
    6. Be respectful.  Ask good questions but be careful about what you say regarding the house.  Potential buyers who walk through the house insulting it loudly (I have seen it happen) will irritate the listing agent because that kind of behavior is just unnecessary and nasty. Even asking questions with a really negative edge or tone will make the Realtor wonder if you are “difficult” to deal with.  Keep it pleasant.  Calling an updated home a “fixer” can be off-putting, for instance.
    7. Want to take photos or video?  ASK.  Do not presume it’s ok to start taping or shooting pictures without permission.
    8. Kids:  along the same lines of respect: do keep your kids with you and do not let them run wild or “play” rambunctiously.  Do not let them go onto beds or jump on furniture. It is ok to look in closets or to open kitchen cabinets, but no one should be opening dresser drawers or medicine cabinets.
    9. Need to use the restroom?  ASK.  And then be very careful that it’s clean when you’re done!  Most Realtors have horror stories of parents letting a child use a restroom at an open house and leaving a nasty mess behind that they don’t clean up.  Don’t do it.  This is someone’s home, not a public building.  (And the agent probably doesn’t know where the Lysol wipes are.)
    10. Love the home?  Look serious.  If you are there a very long time, the agent will believe that you are serious about the house.  If you come back the next day with more people, the agent will believe you’re serious about the house.  If you ask some good, thoughtful questions and even take notes, the agent will believe you’re serious about the house.  All of these things will get you noticed and put you on the radar.  If, however, you slide in and out unnoticed, and you never chat with the Realtor there, you will probably not be remembered unless the open house was exceedingly quiet.  With multiple offers, it is best to be perceived as someone serious – so best to be noticed in a positive light.
    11. Do not dominate the listing agent’s time.  It’s good to engage with pleasant conversation and thoughtful inquiries about the house, but please remember that this person must try to connect with everyone there and make sure that others’ questions are answered too.
    12. When it’s time to leave, thank the Realtor holding the open house and say goodbye.

 

What you say and do at the open house could be the tipping point for your success – or failure – in buying your next home.  Do your best to make a great impression when you have the chance!

*Related reading:

Do You Need a Buyer’s Agent? Or Should You Find a Home, Then Use the Listing Agent?

“I found the house, so give me some of your commission”

What are Referral Fees in Real Estate Transactions?

  1. 4 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,289 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,757 sqft
  2. 5 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,327 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,496 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 2,130 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,539 sqft
  4. 5 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,546 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,666 sqft
  5. 2 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,665 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,497 sqft
  6. 5 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,436 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,356 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,252 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,753 sqft
  8. 5 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 3,195 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,011 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,715 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,147 sqft
  10. 5 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 2,346 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,670 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Campbell.
(all data current as of 5/27/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
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408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
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