ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
What are open house norms? After reading, you’ll feel confident in going to open houses if you are seriously looking at homes, just popping in to be inspired by the home decor or interested in viewing your neighbors home because you’re nosey. All of it goes.
Open houses are open to the general public. The norms of each open house vary and here you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions buyers and participants of open houses have.
WILL THE OWNERS AND LISTING AGENT BE THERE?
Traditionally – the owners are NOT there. However they have every right to be if they wish! Keep your hands to yourself and personal opinion about the paint color and shag carpet on the low – they may be listening.
99% of the time, the listing agent or a colleague/acquaintance of the listing agent will be present. If you have serious interest in the house and are considering writing an offer (with YOUR Realtor – not the sellers!) don’t be shy about asking questions! Your agent will of course be asking these questions on your behalf, but there is no reason for you to not explore the house and ask questions, at an open house if you are there.
DO YOU HAVE TO SIGN UP?
Usually not. 99% of open houses you go to without having signed up for the event. However even at these, the agent hosting, may request that you sign-in before touring the home. Some view this method as an additional measure of safety or requirement of the seller.
FULL DISCLOSURE! Agents who are hosting are also trying to connect with buyers, and they collect their contact information in hopes of working with them! If you don’t wish to be contacted after signing in. Kindly remind the Agent of this.
CAN YOU MAKE AN OFFER?
Yes – Although I don’t advise you to do this. When you are seriously out looking for a home, you should have already selected the realtor who will be representing you. It is important you have exclusive representation. AKA – have an agent represent you exclusively and not one that represents the seller as well. This is called Dual Agencyand can get messy.
IS IT ‘OK’ TO GO TO OPEN HOUSES ONCE YOU’VE SELECTED A REALTOR?
YES – I’ve had clients request additional business cards of mine, of which they call a “get out of jail free card”. They provide to the agents at the Open House and respectfully tell them that they are working with me. Allowing the Agent at the Open House to spend time with other buyers who may not have Exclusive Representation just yet.