Open houses are a great opportunity for buyers to just look at houses. Here are some tips on what to do once inside the home.
1. Take your shoes off. Wear shoes that are easy to get on and off.
2. If asked to sign in do so, you are in someone else’s house and they make the rules. If you do not want to leave an email address don’t.
3. Taking pictures of the inside of the home without the owner’s permission is considered an invasion of privacy and may be illegal. Ask the agent holding the open before taking pictures.
4. If you are working with an agent let the agent at the open house know even if he or she doesn’t ask. Give the agent at the open house the name of your agent. If you are one of my clients you will be given business cards to give agents at open houses.
5. Keep an eye on your children do not let them run around the house unaccompanied. Children love to explore other people’s homes.
6. Be careful what you say. Giving the real estate agent too much information can hurt during negotiations. Try to act somewhat disinterested. At the same time listen to what other buyers are saying because it may help when making an offer.
7. The agent at the open house may be very nice to you but they do represent the seller and are supposed to act in the sellers best interest.
8. The main reason an agent has an open house is to meet potential clients and that is why they may recommend other houses if you don’t like the one that is open.
9. The agent at the open may not be the listing agent and he or she might not be able to answer questions about the property.
10. If at all possible if you decide to buy the home you saw at the open get assistance from your buyer’s agent and avoid dual agency.
Keep in mind that only a very small percentage of the homes for sale have open houses. It is important to search for homes for sale on the internet and to view as many as possible online. Make appointments for private showings to see the homes that are the best fit. Don’t wait for an open house because there might not be one and some houses sell the day they go on the market of sooner.
also, see Why an open house if the home is sold?
and Open house open to theft