The Concept of Open houses and Serial Killers!

To open house or not seems to be the question of the moment, in the world of selling and buying.

Many real estate professionals swear by their success and others think they are a waste of time.

In my personal experience as an agent and consumer, I am on the fence.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they do not.

Many years ago, (when aol and dial up were innovative means to use the internet), I met an agent as a consumer, conducting an open house.  A month later I purchased another house with her.

Open houses were a great avenue for agents to meet new clients… in days of preinternet.

Agents still can meet new clients at open houses but I am find most attendees of open houses fit into:

-looky loos,  neighbors, dreamers, time wasters

-people who are already working with an agent and have been sent to tour homes they may be interested in. This is the norm and many deals that do close from open houses are from this avenue.

-Open houses are a great way for agents to tour and see what new to the market. They also can preview properties for their clients.

-serial killers, robbers and people scoping out open houses for a break in.  A agent is a sitting duck in an open house.  Where else would you invite strangers to come check out your house?  I have personally heard of many cases where homes are robbed at a later date from open house scope outs.  I have also heard of an agents purse and laptop being  stolen.  (One “client” will ask the agent to show them something in another room while the other “client” makes off with the valuables.) Sign in sheets are filled with fake names and no protection.

People can find out a lot about you from your home EVEN if you hide valuables and personal effects before the open house.

Sellers are from two schools of thought they demand open houses and others are against them.

I enjoy conducting open houses in moderation.  Staged or unoccupied homes naturally present less of a risk for a homeowner.  I also conduct them only in nice weather and leave the door open and have a second person in attendance.  I will say that if I am conducting a “agent/broker” open house I will attend it alone.

As a consumer selling my own home I would NEVER have an open house.  I simply could not grasp the thought of strangers and noisy neighbors walking through my house.  I’m sure they would not take their shoes off, which is taboo in my house!

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