Pat's Market Wise Q&A column in The San Jose Mercury News: Selling More than just a Home at an Open House
Q: It’s really irritating when I visit open houses and the agents asks lots of questions and tells me all about themselves. I left one home knowing all about the agent and did not learn anything about the property. My husband’s distain for “registering’ at the entryway before viewing the open house is at the breaking point. Why are some agents turning open houses into such unpleasant experience?
A: It is because in these cases, you and your spouse correctly feel the term “open house” is inappropriately named. You should all be asking the questions. Regardless, those licensees feel it is “their” open house, and they have the right to turn it into an obstacle course. Rookie agents are taught to work open houses as an immersion into the trade while simultaneously gaining access to potential buyer and seller clients. Later, many seasoned agents will occasionally hold a colleague’s open house to gain new clients. Interestingly enough, many in the industry don’t see a conflict of interest being engaged to “sell” a property, only to turn around and not promote it at the open houses. After all, they feel they made the home made available for you to see it in-person versus on a device.
These are the type of agents that have the audacity to set up a “kiosk” in their seller’s entryway. The promotion of their business is contradictory to the job they were hired to do based on their “listing interview.” The job is promoting the attributes of their employers’ property and to sell it quickly for top dollar. So, when you see or hear the words “seller requires all visitors register,” roll your eyes and write down your agent’s information. Better yet, I “deputize” my buyer clients with business cards. A buyer handing their agents’ business cards to the hosts of open houses dramatically enhances the quality of each and every viewing.
Many licensees take the employment of sellers very seriously, especially the hosting of their employers’ open houses. This segment of the industry would be whole-heartily conflicted promoting their services while standing in their sellers’ kitchens. They are fully aware that “orphan” buyers and future sellers attend open houses; yet, they resolutely promote the attributes of their clients’ properties. Either way, “arm yourself” with your agent’s business cards. If you have not yet hired a buyer’s agent, do so. Otherwise, you’re not shopping for a home; you’re “fighting” for one.
Pat Kapowich, REALTOR®
Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager
ABR, CRS, GRI & SRES
A Trusted Name in Silicon Valley since 1960.
A Respected Name in Real Estate since 1988.
In 2014, Pat was named the 2013 Santa Clara County Association of Realtors “President’s Choice” Award Winner. “For demonstrating the principles of good real estate practice among brokers; for promoting and protecting home ownership and property rights for all; and for distinguished service to the members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® and the community at large.”