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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 ...


Open House Surprise!

Q - I recently placed my house on the market and had the first Open House.  I forgot to take something with me so I had to return during the Open House to pick it up.  I couldn't believe the number of people wandering through my home and checking my personal belongings and the agent standing in the kitchen reading.  I was upset and terminated the Open House and the agent.  Is this normal procedure for an Open House?

A - I discontinued doing Open Houses many years ago because they are generally unproductive.  Serious buyers can see many interior and exterior photos of homes on the internet and if anything interests them, they can call an agent and make an appointment to view these homes.

The agent has a problem when he/she is showing the home and others arrive during the process.  The agent either continues to show the first people or tells the first ones to continue on their own as he/she addresses the second group.  You can see how this can accelerate as others also drop in.  The agent loses control over the situation.

From time to time, my client would insist on an Open House and in those instances, I usually brought a second person along to help control the situation.  My assistant would simply ask the interested parties to wait while I finished with the current group.  At no time was anyone wondering through the home unsupervised.  I also told my sellers to remove all their valuables from view and ensure that all their medications were locked up - particularly in the washrooms.  Not all people who arrive at an Open House are interested buyers.  Some have quite different motives.

There is still the notion that Open Houses sell homes so clients continue to request Open Houses.  Agents continue to do them because it is one of the few ways that the client actually sees the agent working on their behalf.  All other marketing activities are not as visible to the clients.

I'll refrain from commenting on the fact that the agent was standing in the kitchen reading!

If you would like more information on Open Houses and other relevant subjects when buying or selling, check out my book entitled 'The Real Estate Process: Pros Discuss Buying & Selling Your Home'.  It contains very good information from various professionals -- agent, lawyer, home inspector and home stager.

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