Open House Caution For Buyers

Yes, it's that time of year again. The weather is getting warmer, flowers are poking through the ground and the anticipated "Spring Market" is here. Open Houses are in abundance and it is very tempting to just take a Sunday drive and "stop in" to a few houses.

What many buyers don't realize is that they need to be careful when entering an Open House. At times, first time homebuyers think that checking out open houses is the first step in the homebuying process. While graduates of our first-time homebuyer workshop would tell you that is not the case, it's still the common thought.

Open Houses are scheduled and hosted by the Listing Agent of a home for sale. The Listing Agent, the one who greets you so warmly and asks probing questions like "So how did you like it?" is working for the SELLER.

Often times buyers, with or without representation, make the mistake of giving away crucial information to this Listing Agent. They'll let the agent hear them gushing over the gorgeous hardwood floors, try to persuade and sell their spouse on why it's such a great house, "Oh but honey look at how cute it is from the street!" or they will give away other buying signals. Other times buyers will come right out with answers to all the agent's questions, like what type of settlement timeframe they are considering or how they feel the home is priced.

The best word of advice is to keep your wits about you during an Open House. If you truly like the home, have your agent schedule a re-showing so that you can see the home with YOUR representative nearby. Don't talk too much and give up information- what you may think is insignificant information and chatter could actually be a crucial part of negotiations.

If you are not currently working with an agent, you should start the process of finding one soon. Make sure you have representation and remember that 99% of the time, the Seller pays your agent, not you.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to give us a call at 215-576-8666. Thanks!