Open houses are designed to bring foot traffic through a property and to generate interest. They are usually casual and fun and often quite informative. However, you should know a few things before participating in an open home tour.
Be Properly Represented
Never go into an open house without representation. The agent who is holding the open house is representing the Sellers. As such, their fiduciary responsibility is to the Seller, not you the Buyer. Anything that you disclose to the Seller’s agent, during the open house, may be used to the Seller’s advantage. In addition, you should sign in and disclose that you are already represented by an agent or else you may lose your right to be represented later. If your agent is not available to go to an open house with you, call and let them know the address of the home you would like to visit so that they can research it for you. You can also request your agent set up a personal tour of the home at a later time.
An open house is a great time to leisurely tour the home, ask questions and learn more about the property so leave yourself ample time. If you’re going to do more than one tour, allow at least 30 to 60 minutes per appointment. Take notes as you walk through so that later you know the pros and cons of each home.
Don’t Make Yourself Too At Home
Ask the sellers before taking any photos or video; remember, this is still their home. Also, be respectful of the seller’s home and don’t enter rooms without permission. An open house will typically provide access to most areas of the home, but keep personal comments to yourself.
Keep Questions Polite and Impersonal
A little small talk is fine, but an open house should focus on the home, not yours or the sellers’ situation. Although you may think this home is your dream home, keep your poker face on and ask questions politely. Anything you say could come back to haunt you during negotiations. You can contact the Donnelly Group for guidance about the best questions to ask at an open house.