Home Buying in Staten Island>Question Details

jeffery, Home Buyer in Staten Island, NY

Is it best to visit Open House without your agent? Why aren't Open Houses more crowded these days?

Asked by jeffery, Staten Island, NY Thu Oct 17, 2013

Is there more pressure on both seller & buyer when two agents are there? My agent sends me alone because she says if I like it we can come back together.
Why wouldn't all agents send their buyers to Open House alone?

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J’s answer
I consider open houses an opportunity to earn potential buyer client business. Times have changed especially in the real estate industry. In all the years I've practiced real estate, holding open houses for seller clients had been nothing more than a waste of time and money. After my first year in real estate I completely disregarded this side of real estate as a viable option to getting a property sold. However, it's a great option for me to earn new potential buyer client business which can lead to new listings as well.

As far as my buyer clients going to open houses on their own...absolutely, yes. I'm very confident as a professional that my clients will not be swayed to shift their business to another agent. I went to one open house many years ago (first year in RE) with a buyer client and I knew more about the property than the listing agent. As I showed my client the property I noticed others trailing behind us as we viewed and discussed the property. I even invited the listing agent to partner with me and the request was declined in a professional manner. I would suggest that if agents hold open houses, know your product and know it better than any other agent because you never know what walks through that door. Thanks for the post.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 18, 2013
It's really in your best interest to visit open houses accompanied by your agent; keep in mind that the listing agent represents the seller's best interest.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 18, 2013
Change agents! Your Realtor should be part of the process to really understand your wants and likes and then be able to select more suitable properties for you.

When you have the proper Realtor, you won't need open houses; your Realtor will schedule appointments.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 17, 2013
IMO, your agent SHOULD accompany you.........unless she has a conflict with her schedule

Why not send a buyer on their own, you ask?

Well - it's our job to show homes to our clients .......to discuss them and get feedback...........being there is a lot more efficient than asking on the phone 2 hours later, "so, what did you think"?

Agents who routinely send their clients to open houses on their own, IN MY OPINION, are shirking their responsibility!

As an agent sitting on an open house - when a person comes in and says their agent "sent them".....I wonder what movie that agent is seeing, or mall they are visiting!!

so.....according to what you've shared - your agent doesn't ever preview homes for you... or accompany you to any open houses.....interesting.....nice work if you can get it!! (does she email you the contract, too?) (sorry, couldn't resist)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 17, 2013
Attending open houses is a good way for buyers to get a feel for the local RE market and enjoy another agents perspective. Buyers shouldn't feel committed to their agent and feel they need to attend these events only with them.

One of the reasons why agents do open houses is to generate a new customer base, thus they will usually push to get as much information about you as possible. If you are working with an agent, this would be the perfect time to announce the fact that you are currently working with and committed to an agent.

Obviously, there are agents that would prefer that their customers didn't attend open house for fear of losing them to other agents.....

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 18, 2013
It boils down to what one values most, a great fire department or a good fire prevention program.
Which do you place value in?
Citizens wandering into environments where they are at a disadvantage can result in consequences that were unexpected. Your agent can try to put humpty-dumpty back together or protect you from taking a tumble. Would you rather be repaired or spared?
If you are a serious buyer, you need to have your agent by your side.
However, if you are indecisive, testing the market, kicking tires, non-specific, looking for a deal, perhaps your agent has read the mail correctly and has given you the liberty to chase the bus. It is the buyer who has demonstrated they are ready, willing and able, that the buyer agents want to spend their time with. Have you decribed in concrete terms the 'deal' you willl actually buy?
It is a shame so many are eager to throw other agents under the bus without asking a single question. If you want to solo through open houses, and have the intent of using the services of your current agent, you should be carrying your agents card with your initials on the back. Hand them to the host of the Open House. This simple action keeps Humpty-Dumpty safe and sound.
No, there is not more pressure when two agents are there. It may be worth while to visit again the critieria you provided your agent. I am confident your agent has already presented you with homes that match your criteria and you have found them unstatisfactory. Open House homes would be on that list also. Your need to walk the streets visiting open houses that do not meet your criteria suggests either you have not been clear regarding your neeeds to your agent or you belieive your agent is hiding the good stuff from you. What would be the motive for that? There is none.
Where the rubber meets the road is HOMES ARE NOT SOLD VIA OPEN HOUSES! Yes, i know, even a blind pig finds an acorn accaisionally, that however does not equate to a good plan. If you are ready and able to buy, have your agent put together a show list and schedule all that is needed.
However, as you may have perceived, this action if followed by questions from your agent. These questions will bore down to reveal the intent and sincereity of your buying goal. Those buyers who are content to troll open houses, who have no time constraint, are nebulous regarding what they really want, do not require their agent to be present. Such buyers, whether they know it or not, are still in the information gathering stage. Open houses are suitible for that 'window shopping' purpose. When the window shopping is over, and you now know what you did not know before, and you clearly know what you WILL BUY, your agent will want to spend time by your side.
Why aren't open houses croweded anymore? All those potential buyers have decided to stay home and fix up their existing house. There are fewer buyers and fewer selleer than before and both know open houses are not effective ways to sell a home...UNLESS the hosting agent has abandoned the 1998 open house format. Now, that is a different story, and I'm not sure a unprepared buyer would find it suitable for their casual appraoch.

Best of Success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 18, 2013
Sometimes a realtor is holding his/her own open house or may have a conflict and is not available. That doesn't mean the agent doesn't care. The agent may have already visited the property with another client or as part of a broker open house or agent preview. And knows the property well. It is also possible that your agent spoke with the open house agent, knows the open house agent or works with the open house agent and knows that the open house agent will give the potential buyer an honest showing of the house.

Some of the answers here show that there is significant distrust and dishonesty among realtors. Unfortunately, that is part of the problem in this industry. Not all realtors are untrustworthy or dishonest. If another agent calls me and tells me that they are sending their customer to my open house I would not try to steal the customer. If you, as an agent, have confidence in yourself and your customer you don't worry about another agent trying to steal your customer at an open house. I always call the open house agent to let them know my customer is coming there without me.

As for your question about open houses being less crowded, that is probably because the house is not priced right. I just listed a property two weeks ago, and held an open house this past Sunday. I had more than 12 families come to the open house in the two hours of the open house. I have shown it 9 more times since then and have requests to see it another 5 times. I have three offers on it. The reason: I priced it right. If your realtor pays attention to the market and prices the house right you will get activity.

Call me, if you don't have an agent, and I would be happy to help you. 718 689-3850. Neuhaus Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 18, 2013
No, it's best to visit with your agent. Why have an agent that doesn't care enough to assist, protect, and guide you during such an important purchase? Hopefully you would consider your agent an expert with experience, and special skills in the real estate field. Your agent could share his/her knowledge about real property laws, disclosures, possible latent defects, land use issues, financing, etc. Your agent should be a valuable resource to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 17, 2013
All agents work differently. If I have no other appointments I will accompany my buyers to open houses. But there are times that we have conflicting schedules and I instruct the buyers to go to the open house on their own but to tell the agent hosting the open house that they are currently working with a Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 17, 2013
Most of the time I do an Open House the seller does not want to be there. As long as the buyer brings the other agents card or writes his or her name there is not a problem. If you go to an Open House without your agent just walk through , ask any questions to the other agent but don't make any comments
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 17, 2013
Most Buyers want a private showing and not be rushed through an open house. Open houses are a safety issues for occupied homes and we are seeing less of them. A buyer alone at an open house could say "too much" or give away things that could hurt them in a negotiation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 17, 2013
There isn't as much of a need for open houses now that you can view listings through the internet with pictures and virtual home tours.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 17, 2013
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