We are Blessed “yes, with a capital “B””, to have some of the best clients in the world. Our clients have us on the tip of their tongue whenever anyone mentions Real Estate – Thanks Bunches for that.
But, our clients have been known to go into open houses and come out angry, confused and not sure who to believe.
It was a beautiful day in the Santa Clarita Valley, a typical 75 Degrees, birds singing, the laughter of children, all was right in the world. All of a Sudden my phone rang.
“Hello, It’s Connor…”
“Hey Connor, It’s Paul Atkins.” I was surprised, did he have a client that wanted one of the listings we were selling? I was trying to think if we were in escrow together? Paris was sitting with me, I covered the mouth piece, “are we in escrow with Paul?”, I asked, Paris shook her head to affirm “No”.
“Hey Paul, what can I do for you?”
“Connor, is Paris there?” – “Sure Paul, I’ll put you on speaker…”
Paul, on speaker, “Connor and Paris I just got finished talking with some clients of yours, who came into my open house. The same clients of yours that called me a couple of days ago…” Paul gave us their names and we have been actively showing them properties.
“They dropped your name to me, but if they come across another agent without code and looking to “close a client”, they might be at risk.”
Paul gave us the heads up before they might have gotten themselves into trouble. You see, no one remembers when things go good, it is when things turn bad when the memory sharpens 🙂
You are probably thinking, what was the harm? Nothing, if the clients have been brought up to speed with regard to “open houses”.
Here is the way it works and watch to watch out for,
- Open houses don’t have to be held at a home that is available for purchase – The home might be an exclusive listing, a for sale by owner where the agent talked them into conducting an open house to “test the market”, the home might not be for sale any longer, the open house could be in foreclosure and not available, the open house could also be a “non active” status – Pending or in Back Up. The house could belong to the Open House hosting agent in an attempt to get leads of potential buyers. Call your agent to get the true skinny and show you the printout showing the true status of the home you just visited at the open house.
- You might be told that the only way to buy the “open house” is to use the agent hosting the open house – Desperate times call for desperate measures, even in a good market this game was being played. If you have an agent you are working with, and when you hear that statement over the phone or when visiting an open house, make sure your agent calls the agent that made that statement – “to inquire”. Have your agent do this in front of you on speaker phone and ask point blank if what was told was true! I am sure you will find that what you were told was not entirely accurate.
- Please sign in, the owner requires it – Okay, I have had owners that have, I also require it to make sure the owner is not going to be missing a watch 🙂 However, make sure you are not giving permission to be “spammed” by what you are signing. In fact, you are signing in for “liability” reasons, make that clear to the agent hosting the open house. Also make very clear that if you start getting e-mail from the open house agent – there are going to be issues. Let your agent run interference on that as well.
- Lenders at open houses – “The owner has given me authority to give a huge discount on the loan when a buyer applies with me during this open house. I am only going to be here until 4pm with the agent, so let’s sit down and get some information from you.” Whoa Bessie, this should be making the hair on the back of your neck stand up – Give your agent a call and have them call this lender while you are on quietly on the call via conference. Have your agent ask the lender directly the questions utilizing Real Estate and Lending vernacular to see if you are getting played or if there really is a Better Deal to be had at this particular Open House.
You are not going to war. But you will be making the biggest investment of your life. You might be making the biggest investment of your life more than once. It pays to get your own representative and make sure you are educated as to the games that are played at Open Houses. Now you can visit the homes while they are being hosted as “open” without putting yourselves at risk.