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Lauren T. Tetreault's Blog

By Lauren T. Tetreault | Agent in Concord, MA

How to Get the Most out of Attending a Public Open House

Want to get the most out of those open houses you view on Sunday afternoons?  Read on!

If you are not yet affiliated with a Buyer’s Agent:

·     Look upon Open Houses as an opportunity to meet a variety of Realtors. Observe their business styles.  Try to assess their level of experience.  By observing different business styles, you will be better able to make your choice when you choice your “buyer’s agent”

·     Be friendly to the agent hosting the open house without showing your hand.  Is your lease almost up and you have to buy in 60-90 days?  Just inherit a bucket of money?  Still living under the same roof as your ex (or living at home with your parents) and cannot wait to get your own place? Please, don’t tell each agent at each open house you go to!  You will debilitate some of your future buyer’s agent’s ability to negotiate on your behalf.

·     Sign in where asked to on the guest register - it’s a courtesy to the homeowner that they know who has been through their home.

·     Collect brochures or business cards at open houses. Later, use them to help trigger your memory about the overall impression the agent made on you.

·     When you meet someone who  seems like a professional  agent who knows their stuff, take note of his/her name.  Move on.

·     After you have met several good agents,  make an appointment to interview/meet with the best one or two.  A good buyer’s agent will be glad to sit down with you and talk about your needs.  Learn how that agent likes to work with her clients.  Does it feel right and comfortable to you?  Do you love text and email?  Don’t settle for a non-tech agent (and yes, they are out there!).  See what that buyer’s agent can teach you about their market in 30 minutes or less.  You should walk away feeling like you know more than before you started – and hopefully will be prepared to choose the Buyer’s agent to represent you.

If you are affiliated with a buyer’s agent:

·     Be friendly with the agent hosting the open house J   I know, that sounds like common courtesy, but you would be surprised how often the public is kind of rude to hosting agents!    

·     Sign in on the open house register; I recommend you fill in your name – and then your agent’s email address. This will allow the hosting agent to follow up with your agent for feedback from the open house.

Good advice for everyone:

·     Sure, everyone wants to know how long a house has been on the market.  But don’t forget to ask the hosting agent (or your buyer’s agent) how long average marketing time is for your price point in each community.  That makes the question of “how long has this house been on the market” meaningful

·     Don’t ask why the house is being sold, it puts the listing agent in an awkward position, and the answer really doesn’t impact market value. Realtors are authorized to talk about the property not the people.  If there is a dis-closable reason why the house is being sold, you will be told!  Sometimes listing agents will offer the reason the house in the market, which is fine, so long as their seller-clients have authorized them to do so.

·     Feel free to open appropriate doors.  That means closets, kitchen drawers, etc.  It’s not a good idea to  open medicine cabinets and refrigerators which are considered more “private” spaces.  If you are really interested in the property, ask the listing agent if you can open the medicine cabinet. But unless the refrigerator is included in the sale, it’s really none of your business whether they drink whole or low-fat milk!

·     House catch your eye?  Be sure to schedule a follow-up private showing with your buyer’s agent so you can really take in the house without the distraction of other people in the space.

·     Finally, remember that even if you don’t like the house, it’s someone’s home, and they probably love it.  Foil and flock wallpaper?  I’m sure the listing agent knows it’s out of vogue; you probably don’t have to tell him or her!

Good luck with your home search!  If you need a professional buyer's agent with decades of experience, depth of knowledge, passion about what she does and a sense of humor, give me a call - maybe we would like to work together!

Lauren T. Tetreault
Vice President
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



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