Marie (from the popular hit TV series Breaking Bad) went to open houses for a completely different reason than most people; let’s just say Marie had a case of sticky fingers and was more interested in the contents of the house than the house itself.
The allure of an open house attracts a variety of people: home buyers (obviously), sellers, neighbors, real estate agents, and of course snoopers (more about them in a minute).
Let’s take a look at the types of people who go to open houses and why they go.
The Home Buyer:
There are a few versions of the home buyer. There is the experienced buyer who has more than one move under their belt. They move often due to their job or their partner’s job. Then there’s the newbie, who is a bit unsure of the process. Lastly, potential sellers/buyers who are seeing what’s on the market.
Open houses are great for many reasons, but one reason, in particular, is that it’s a place for homebuyers to gather information and to talk to real estate agents about the home buying process.
If there is an open house on the block you can bet your neighbors will go through. It’s important for neighbors to visit open houses because they can get a good idea of what their property might be worth or to see what home improvements they might want to consider to stay current with market trends. It’s a competitive market out there, and it’s good to see what the competition looks like.
The Real Estate Agents:
Of course, the agent who has the listing will be at the open house. In between the waves of buyers, sellers, and viewers, there are real estate agents. Agents are critical to the selling process. Many new and potential buyers don’t have a Realtor yet. Open houses are a great opportunity for Realtors to get their name out and scoop up new clients.
Snoopers may or may not live in the neighborhood. They’re the folks who are curious cats; they want to check out listings to see “what’s what.” Snoopers usually mean no harm and come in peace but they might be like Marie from Breaking Bad and have ulterior motives. Namely, theft.
Successful open houses are hotbeds of activity! Lots of people coming and going and they may not always fill out the Sign In sheet, which means you may not know exactly who has been in your house. That’s why you should ALWAYS protect yourself from the Marie’s out there. Lock up your valuables or store them with a family member. And make sure to lock your windows and check that they are still locked when the Open House is over. The risk of theft and break-ins go up when a home is on the market.