Open houses are a great way to research areas and become familiar with what's offered in specific communities. I'm always happy to assist buyers with attending open houses during their purchasing process and as a general contractor I can help identify specific characteristics of each home that can help with your decisions. During your visits, you will encounter hosts of the open houses. They may be listing agents for the home you're visiting, but also you may encounter hosts that are hoping to recruit you as a buyer client of theirs. Feel free to ask their position so you know with whom you are communicating. For buyers working with me, you may simply let them know we are working together and if you have a stack of my cards, you can hand those off to them as needed.
Weekend of October 28-29, 2023
What to expect at an open house? Open houses are usually scheduled for a 2-3 hour time-frame of a day that is common to that area, so if you're coming to from another region you may find open house times are different than what you're used to. Open houses are usually on weekends, but occasionally on weekdays. In addition to the popular schedule, you may also find select homes being held open for much of the day, so the timing of each home you wish to see may be a factor on how you plan your route. At each open house, there will be a host. It may be the listing agent, or more commonly it may be another agent who is hosting the open house for the listing agent, but they most likely do not represent the seller. This agent may hope to recruit you as a client, so they'll request that you register so they can follow-up with you. If you're already working with an agent - preferably Shaun - then you would indicate that to the host if you are visiting without Shaun.
Recommendations for attending open houses:
- Be respectful... of everything. These are someone's home and property that deserves care. While you may be considering purchasing it, you at this time are a guest.
- New construction deserves the same care. While it may not be owned by a homeowner, it is the builder's property and still deserves care while visiting.
- Remove shoes or wear covers if requested.
- Restrooms - if you should need restroom facilities while attending an open house, please consult the host before taking any liberties. There may be a designated restroom use plan for the home during the open house.
- Refrain from bringing in food & drinks. If the host is serving any refreshments, please be respectful on where those are consumed as to not induce any accidental spills on carpets, furniture, etc.
- Keep all people in your group orderly and preferable in close proximity. This includes children. Remember that children do not see an open house like you do. They may see it as a new playground.
- Furniture - unless invited or offered by the host, there's a limit on how much to "make yourself at home". Beds should not be sat or jumped on, and even living room furniture should only be observed and not used unless offered otherwise.
- Cabinets - yes, you can open a door or drawer to see if they're soft-close or to see shelving, but opening all cabinetry out of curiosity is not recommended.
- Pantries - please refrain from self-serving from a homeowner's pantry even if there are baskets of snack bars, chips, or candies out in the open. If refreshments are available, the host will have them out.
- Pools - if the home you're visiting has a pool, please be watchful of everyone in your party including children. Nothing gets the adrenaline going like someone falling in during an open house.
- Exercise patience. If an open house is busy, the host may be trying to juggle multiple groups - not knowing how long each conversation will last. Some visitors may prefer to self-tour, but if you need to talk with the host during a busy open house, please be patient.
- If you have driven to the open house, please be courteous of all other vehicles on site.