If you're a buyer you might think Open Houses are the best thing ever! You don't have to commit to any agent, you can be kind of leisurely in how you check things out. That's all good, but there are some things worth knowing if you want to protect your own interests.
1. The agent holding the house open works for the SELLER. They might be the listing agent, or someone else from the listing agent's office, irregardless, they are responsible for serving the seller. ANYTHING you tell them can be passed on to the seller and used against you if you decide to proceed with buying the home.
2. Agents holding open houses are there for two primary reasons. First to sell THAT house. Second, to sell ANY house. If they can't sell you the house, they generally hope that they'll at least get some good buyer contacts that the can convert to buyer clients later, or just as good, maybe one of the neighbors will come through, like what they see and hire them to sell THEIR home too.
3. If you're waiting for an open house to see a home, you might have a long wait. Many agents (and sellers) prefer not to hold houses open EVER. There are a number of reasons: security for the home and agent safety, plentiful online information eliminates a lot of the reason for holding the house open, the challenge of keeping track of everyone in a home if multiple people show up all at once, all these items can factor in.
4. Now on the pro side for the buyer, despite the responsibility to the seller, sometimes the agent will say WAY more than they should. I've been shocked more than once by what my buyers have told me after visiting an open house. Now perhaps the seller authorized the agent to say all they said, but not exactly the marketing strategy I'd want to employ for my sellers.
5. You're probably NOT going to get a better deal by working only with the listing agent. Back to item 1, the listing agent CANNOT tell you the home is badly overpriced without violating their responsibility to the seller. And if you think they'll give you a discount for not having an agent, well chances are there is nothing in the listing contract that requires the agent to give anything back if acting as a dual agent (and that's quite legal in Ohio).
Open houses can be great for scouting an area, finding out what you can get for your dollar, etc. But if you're ready to get SERIOUS about buying a home, we're always going to recommend having an agent that works ONLY for you. Your best interests are protected. That "innocent" small talk with the open house agent can literally cost you thousands of dollars if you say just a little too much about WHY you're moving or HOW much you love the home.
More questions about buying or selling a home in the Warren County area Just give us a call at 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com.
Serving Warren County area home buyers and sellers,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz
Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas
The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS
William (Bill) Spear, CRS
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!
Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Direct #2: 513-265-3004
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