Featured Post

Open House Concerns

Q -  Recently in the news there was a report about property being stolen at an Open House.  Is this a common occurrence and can anything ...

1/15/18

Open House - How to Make it Safe

How to Make an Open House Safer


The Open House continues to be a traditional marketing tool for real estate agents even though it is ineffective. Most real estate agents will agree that they rarely sell a home this way. Nevertheless, sellers continue to want an open house and agents continue to accommodate their clients

When a client insists on having one despite the information I have provided regarding its ineffectiveness, I cooperate with my seller's wishes and do a controlled open house.

Removing Valuables and Storing Safely
First of all, I ask the seller to remove all obvious valuables from sight. This includes such things as jewelry, money, electronic gadgets and anything small of value that may be easily accessible. Some children's toys also fall into the expensive category. I advise my clients to place all these safely away for the duration of the selling process.


Removing Certain Prescription Medications

It is not uncommon for people to leave medications on their night table or kitchen counter. Certain prescription medications such as psychotropics and pain killers are often targeted. In my discussions with the seller, I make certain that, if such items are around, that they too be securely put away.

Of course, the most common area for medications is the medicine cabinet in bathrooms. I also ask my clients to remove any such medications from the cabinets and store them securely elsewhere. From time to time, open house visitors do use the washroom.

Controlling an Open House

A controlled open house requires two people in attendance. One to escort the visitors from room to room for the viewing and the other to curtail those who arrived simultaneously from wandering around the house unescorted.

A controlled open house requires two people in attendance. One to escort the visitors from room to room for the viewing and the other to curtail those who arrived simultaneously from wandering around the house unescorted.

I usually enlist the help of my assistant to attend the open house with me. In most regions, only a licensed real estate agent is permitted to provide property information to the public. I, therefore, escort the visitors through the home, room by room, and provide property information. I ensure that the visitors and their children stay with me and not get ahead of me or lag behind me.

My assistant's role is to ensure that any other visitors that arrive during this time wait in a designated area until I return to take them on a tour of the home. I usually leave printed property information in that area for them to browse through while waiting.

If my assistant is not available, I may ask the seller to fill that role with strict instructions not to engage in any property discussions or reveal that they own the home but to simply control the flow of visitors. Sellers are anxious to help since most of the time they are not privy to what happens at an open house.


Safety of Real Estate Agent and Safety of Seller's Possessions

When sellers request to have an open house, they rarely think about the implications that this could have. They are anxious for everyone to come and see their home with the hope that one of them would be interested enough to put in an offer.

They place their trust in the real estate agent to ensure that all goes well. And for the most part, things do go well. But from time to time, things go missing, items get broken, real estate agents get hurt and, on rare occasions, even get killed.

Enlisting the seller to take some simple precautions and having a second person present at the open house can provide a safe environment for the real estate agent and for the seller's possessions.

We no longer pick up strangers in our cars but we have not yet discerned the implications of allowing strangers in our homes during open houses.