Danger! Open house
It has long been obvious to us that open houses are not safe for the owners of the house. Agents for the seller cannot protect the house, were someone to come in with a notion to steal. Stealing is common at open houses. Since cameras became common, more are getting caught.
For house hunters:
Notice that this woman in the video has been caught on camera in the house. (Link) Buyers, beware the nannycam. The camera may be recording your conversation with us!
Sometimes, our clients shoot themselves in the foot by saying too much at open houses. We try to teach y’all to play poker. The overall rule is to never say anything to the listing agent that can haunt you later in a negotiation. Some of those things are:
- If you have a hard deadline for this move.
- If the house or condo is uniquely good for you.
- If you are fed up with the market (and ready to pay anything to get it done.)
- If you are brand new to the search (and therefore not ready to buy; or if you try to buy, not ready to follow through to the end.)
There’s more to it than that, but you agent can help you with the details.
Not showing your cards:
Buyers often begin conversations about what the house is worth, or how much they should offer. These are conversations that should not happen while still in the house. We try to teach that to y’all. Sometimes you think we are being paranoid, but you never know who might be listening. At an open houses, another buyer might be three feet away in another room. Now, guess what, the nannycam may be running!
Most of the time, you have enough privacy. But, as buyer’s agents, we are increasing our attention to the possibility that a seller is listening – even in a empty house. If a seller might be listening, it behooves you to avoid talking about any of these things until you leave the house:
- Insulting the maintenance of the house or the taste of the seller.
- Discussing price or motivation to buy this particular house or condo.
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you.