This Sunday, June 5, 2011 is the big Nationwide Open House Weekend. The National Association of Realtors hosts one every year and the Dayton Area Board of Realtors has offered up some incentives for you to visit at least one Open House. This year, as in the past, when you sign up at an Open House, your name will get placed in a drawing for a $100.00 Lowe’s Gift Card- not too shabby? Even if you are not part of the DIY Nation, who doesn’t need light bulbs and batteries? Winners are notified by phone so you will have to leave a name and phone number, but you are not obligated to leave any other information.
Let’s talk honestly. Sometimes buyers are a little wary of visiting Open Houses because they assume, rightly or wrongly, that they are going to be accosted by pushy Realtors, so let me give you some tips for making an Open House trip more productive, less painful.
1) Don’t try to avoid the Realtor. We do need a record of who is visiting the home, it’s something we are obligated to do for the sellers. You wouldn’t want random folks walking in and wondering around your home, would you? No one does, and an Open House doesn’t change that. We know there are a plethora of reasons why people visit Open Houses- we are okay with that, but realize you are a guest and will be expected to sign in with at least a name.
2) About the reasons you are there? Whatever they are, it’s fine. The best thing to do, as always, just be honest about why you are there: You are a neighbor and always wanted to see the home; or you are looking for decorating tips; or you are looking for a home for yourself or a family member- whatever your reason, it’s okay for you to admit it up front. The Realtor will appreciate the honesty, and then she can be helpful. If you are there for decorating tips, the Realtor can find out where items were purchased, what the color the master bedroom walls are painted, and who does the landscaping.
3) If you are working with another REALTOR, tell the hosting REALTOR upfront. Realtors have cooperating agreements with each other, which means that even if you are working with another Realtor, we will be happy to give you details about the property, because ultimately we are there to sell the home. Just remember that hosting Realtors work for the seller, so be careful about what you say- it could be shared with sellers.
4) If you are not currently working with a Realtor, you can use Open Houses to interview them. When an Open House is busy, you may not get the time to talk in private or indepth, but you will certainly get a good indication of whether or not you want to have that Realtor help you with such an important transaction.
Don’t pass up a great Open House just because you don’t want to talk to a Realtor. Understand the dynamics of situation, be clear about your goals going in, and above all, have fun!