The Open House Host is NOT your Friend! Baron Chestney's Blah Blah Blog #16
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Are you looking to make some new friends? Well, whether you like it or not, if you attend an open house, you're going to meet a guy or gal who is INCREDIBLY eager to quickly become "best buddies" with you -- or so it seems... Hmmm.... wonder why... could it be that your new perfume, or your husband's new aftershave, is incredibly alluring? Maybe they both are?! What's REALLY lurking behind the botox smile or the used car salesman's weaselly smirk? Why are these professional bullcrap artists pretending to be so happy to see you? Well,believe it or not, they ARE really happy to see you -- that much is actually true. But, WHY? "Well, because they want to sell the house, of course", you think. "They are happy to see us because they think we might buy the house -- and if we buy the house, they make a commission". Simple enough, right? Makes sense... Well, sure it does. However, the open house host is always thinking one step ahead of you, like a good chess player. In fact, if the open house host ALSO happens to be the listing agent (most of the time, it will be), he or she is not just a good chess player, but, rather, a chess MASTER. Guess what? You're a pawn! There are two categories of open house host: 1. the listing agent who is hosting his/her own listing, and 2. an agent other than the listing agent, who is hosting the open house on behalf of the listing agent. Why the listing agent would host an open house is obvious -- he or she wants to sell the house, and thereby earn a commission for doing so. But, is that the listing agent's ONLY motivation in hosting the open house? Of course not. He or she has a much more sinister purpose in mind. He or she does indeed want to sell the house, but in addition to that, he or she wants to make "friends" with you, and then quickly become your AGENT, as well, thereby supposedly representing the seller as listing agent, AND you as buyer's agent, in the purchase of the house. Why? Perhaps their motivation is best understood by examining the objective of the open house host who is NOT the listing agent. In that case, the open house host simply wants to become your "friend" and then quickly become your agent, but he or she really does not care if you buy the house that is being held open. Sure, they would love to sell you the house which is being held open, if you happened to like it, but they will earn a commission no matter which house you buy, if they are able to become your "friend" and then quickly convince you to use them as your buyer's agent. The open house host who is NOT the listing agent only earns a commission if he or she successfully represents you as the buyer of a house -- ANY house. So, he or she is hoping that you do not have an agent, or that you will dump your current agent and work through them, instead. He or she will gladly offer to show you some other houses, if you are not intereted in the house that is being held open. They would be happy to represent you as buyer on the purchase of whichever house you like. Open house hosts who are NOT the listing agent are almost always, in fact, younger and/or less experienced agents who are new to the business. They work out an exchange with the listing agent -- the listing agent has several listings and cannot host open houses on all of them at the same time, and the rookie agent does not have any listings of his/her own, and is trying to meet new clients and build up a clientele of his or her own, so this type of arrangement works well for both the listing agent and the open house host. Although lacking in experience and knowledge, perhaps the open house host is a "nice guy" or "nice gal", and seems likable enough -- that's exactly what he or she is hoping you'll be drawn to. OK, fair enough. He or she is willing to show you other houses and will try to represent you as a buyer's agent. Sure, it's not right for him or her to try to get you to "dump" your current agent, but he or she is going to at least try. Weasels will be weasels, after all... But, now let's go back and take another look at the listing agent -- what's going on with him or her? What is his or her game when hosting an open house which is his or her listing? Well, remember, the open house host who is NOT the listing agent is simply a good chess player, thinking a bit ahead of you, and trying to read you and anticipate your next move and react accordingly. The listing agent who is hosting an open house on his/her own listing, however, is a chess MASTER, thinking WAY ahead of you, toying with you and baiting you and manipulating you, leading you into a trap, and using you as a pawn! How? Well, remember, the listing agent is going to get paid when the listing sells, no matter who buys it, because the listing agent already represents the SELLER. The open house host (unless he or she happens to be the listing agent) does not currently have a client -- he or she is actively looking for one -- namely, you! The listing agent, on the other hand, has a far more sinister, far greedier, and ulterior motive in mind. The listing agent wants to quickly become your friend. In fact, the listing agent wants to quickly become good friends with ANY potential buyers who attend the open house and display any interest whatsoever in the house for sale. Why? Because the listing agent is hoping to convince you and any other potential buyers to use him or her as your buyer's agent, even though he or she is ALREADY representing the seller as well, as the listing agent, such that he or she will then be "representing" BOTH the seller AND you, the buyer -- with the end result being that he or she will be collecting BOTH SIDES of a full 6% commission! Brilliant scheme, isn't it?! Let's quickly do the math on that: assuming a full 6% commission on a $900,000 house, the listing agent is going to slip, squirm, and slink away like a weasel in the night with $54,000 in total commissions!!! Now THAT is a chess MASTER!!! Talk about putting a price on "friendship"!!! The open house host who is NOT the listing agent just wants to be your buyer's agent and has no loyalty to the house that is being held open. The listing agent who is hosting his or her own open house, however, wants it ALL -- he or she ALREADY represents the SELLER, he or she will be getting one side of the commission (the seller's side) when the house sells, no matter WHO buys it, and he or she can get the FULL commission (BOTH sides -- the SELLER's side commission AND the Buyer's side commission) if he or she can only convince YOU that he or she is your friend...Ah, but there's more.... it goes even deeper than that... think about this: the listing agent wants to befriend not just you, but in fact ANYONE AND EVERYONE who attends the open house! Why? Because he or she works for the seller exclusively, and so he or she will play all the buyers against each other, finally selling to the one who offers the highest price. After all, it's all about money -- not friendship. Don't believe it, though! Use a buyer's agent who will only work for YOU. Use the Baron as your buyer's agent, and you even get a rebate, to boot!