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So who goes to open houses?


The debate continues on whether or not open houses are outdated. And anyone who has ever gone to an open house knows that not everyone there is a potential home buyer. So who goes to open houses? I have met many wonderful clients at open houses, some have become friends. Although some Realtors love open houses, I have mixed emotions. For security issues, I try to hold them open with a real estate partner. So, who goes to open houses? The most common attendees are: Neighbors, Real Estate Junkies, Serial Open House Goers, Those up to No Good, Potential Home Buyers, the Simply Curious, Other Realtors and Vendors.

Neighbors: There are two types; the nice neighbors typically introduce themselves and oooh and aah about the neighborhood and the home. I love the nice neighbors, it’s an extra layer of security and they often provide valuable insight regarding the other neighbors and the neighborhood. I don’t care for the ones who check out my client’s medicine cabinet.

Real Estate Junkie: When I first married George, he could not drive by an open house without going in. Some people just love real estate and have a desire to see every listing in their neighborhood.

Serial Open House Attendees: A decade ago I had an amazing Spanish Colonial Revival home listed in Glendale’s Cumberland Estates neighborhood. A couple dropped in and explained why this home wasn’t for them and what they were looking for in a home, they wanted more privacy, etc. etc. Last year they turned up at my La Canada listing on Meadow Grove. Ten years and they still haven’t found their dream home. Either they are the Goldilocks couple or they go to Sunday open houses for entertainment.

Those up to no good: Public open houses on larger homes should always be hosted by two people. The concept of opening your home to anyone walking in from the street is odd. The opportunity for theft is simply too easy.

The potential home buyer: These are always the poor souls who get lost in the crowd – the serious buyer. It is usually the real estate junkie or some noisy Nellie asking question after question diverting my attention away from my purpose of being there, selling the home. The potential buyer is often timid, fearful of the Realtor and reluctant to make contact. (just so you know, most of us aren’t that scary).

Simply curious: Every now and again, there is a home we have been curious about, perhaps we have admired it, or perhaps we knew someone who used to live there. If it’s held open, of course you want to relive old memories, come on in.

Realtors: We often go to open houses to preview listings.  Typically we do this on Broker’s Caravan Day, but sometimes we will see a new listing at the Sunday open house.

Vendors: I don’t object to mortgage loan officers, insurance agents, etc. stopping by my open house BUT I am not there to chat with them.  I have a job to do and am both security and real estate sales person. It’s my party, don’t pitch your services to me at my open house – it’s not fair to me, potential home buyers or my home seller to distract me from my job.

Each home sale and seller is unique. If you are thinking of selling your home, call me and let’s discuss whether or not it should be held open to the public and if so what precautions to take.

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