I have seen it a hundred times. The prospective buyer, curious neighbors or home sellers from two blocks over come through the front door and their guard is up. Some bust into the house as if they are raiding it, look around for 30 seconds and give a gruff mutter upon their exit. Others will barely make eye contact and furtively look around as though already planning an escape route. I can almost hear the National Geographic narrator in their mind, “And now, the visitors know they are cornered. The wily and speedy Realtor has locked her sight on them, and will most certainly pressure them into giving their email addresses, income information and first born children before she will allow them to leave.”
Does this at all sound familiar to you? If so, you are not using open houses to your advantage. Even if you don’t care for the home the agent is holding open, the agent may hold a goldmine of information for you. Take this opportunity (without obligation) to quiz them about the area, the type of amenities nearby, what the current state of the market is (ask for facts to back up the stats) and anything else you want to know. If you are in the process of looking for an agent to represent you, use this time to chat a bit with them to see how well you connect.
Here is a tip – if you feel pressured or really turned off by the agent, simply say, “I am working with another Realtor.” Unless you are asking a ton of questions, the agent will probably back off (or they should as per our Code of Ethics). The main thing is not view the agent as a shark, but a potential source of information. You may be surprised by what you learn. Check our Twitter @ThePropertyAces to see where we will be holding open houses this weekend.