How to get the most out of your open house visit

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Whether you are a serious shopper or just enjoy seeing how others have decorated their home, visiting an open house can provide a variety of benefits to your life.

However, in order for this to work, there is one basic rule that you should almost ( yes, I said almost ) always employ. That rule is… “honesty is the best policy”.

For some reason, many open house shoppers find it difficult to be relaxed and honest about why they are there. I realize that the way you are greeted by the open house host/hostess may set a negative mood. For your sake, do not walk into every open house expecting a negative experience for the host/hostess.

Here are a few tips for your next open house excursion.

Decide why you are walking in the door before you actually walk in the door.

Top 5 reasons are…

1.     House shopping for myself or others

2.     Checking out décor and floor plan ideas

3.     Looking for a good realtor to sell my house

4.     Learning neighborhoods

5.     Killing time/Nosey neighbor

Unless your reason is number 3, just tell the truth to whoever asks. However, if number 3 IS your reason, then you can’t let that be known or it will blow your opportunity to see how the real estate professional in front of you naturally conducts themselves at an open house.

Do not give your correct contact information to the host/hostess unless you want them to begin calling, texting or emailing you.

·      No one wants multiple REALTORS or *homeowners blowing up their phones and spamming their inbox. You’d think that REALTORS would have caught on to this by now and backed off on the cold calls. Unfortunately, most training programs for REALTORS insist on making sales calls every day.

·      I give you permission to walk right by the sign-in sheet if you want to.

·      If the host applies pressure, then you know that reason #3 will not occur at that house.

·      In order to not appear to be a trouble maker, you may want to simply assume the identity of your best friend from grade school and create a cool email address for them.

·      *I mentioned home owners above because sometimes it’s the home owner hosting the open house. That creates its own set of issues that I’ll discuss in a separate blog.

If you are already committed to a great buyer’s agent, notify the host of this wonderful news as soon as they greet you. If you need an agent’s name to fill this spot, you are welcome to use Steve Martin Smith. Ethically, other REALTORS need to be cautious of conversations they have with those who have declared that they already have a REALTOR.

Try to enjoy the company of the open house host/hostess. Many of us are in this business because we truly enjoy helping people through the process. Give us a chance to add value to your life. For example, I love nosey neighbors. They may share a positive note about the community that I was not aware of. Yet often, the nosey neighbors unnecessarily apologize for taking up my time.

Our open house results. Our team has sold 50% of our own listings as a direct result of our open house program. 29% of the buyers for our listings have trusted us to write the offer.

Steve Martin Smith is a Top 1% REALTOR who specializes in Residential New Construction and Resale in Sarasota County, including Venice and The West Villages. is the GO-TO Real Estate site for Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee Counties.