Honesty is the best policy – when viewing Open Houses

The weather’s heating up and so is the real estate market. The warmer temperatures – along with special events such as Coldwell Banker® International Open House Month in April – are bringing Canadians out in droves to view a wide range of properties.

If you’re a serious buyer and are viewing properties by appointment, you’ll be accompanied by your sales representative. You’ll have someone there who knows your needs and is looking out for your best interests. In situations like that, you feel free to be completely open and candid with your salesperson. But what if you’re visiting an Open House?

Many potential buyers enjoy touring Open Houses, but this type of more informal viewing is typically done without your own sales representative in attendance. Instead, the showing is handled by the salesperson that holds the listing on the property, or a member of their sales team. In these situations, buyers often tend to be less than honest in their reaction to a property. Their reasons could be anything from just wanting to be polite and not offend the salesperson, right on down to not wanting to disclose how much they actually like it. Whatever your reason, you could actually be losing out if you hold back in your comments.

When touring an Open House, be direct and ask questions. Remember, this is no time to be diplomatic. The real estate professional showing the home fully realizes that this property will not be right for everyone. More importantly, he or she will have access to many more listings….and one of them may be just the one you’re looking for. Keeping your comments open and direct, allows the sales professional to better understand your needs, and offer solutions to meet them. What you perceive to be a major drawback could in fact be easily remedied.

Even if your reaction isn’t a positive one, the sales representative marketing the property will appreciate your honest feedback. They need to know buyers’ reactions and the reasons behind it, so that they can effectively counsel their vendor. If you feel that the home doesn’t compare favourably to other homes in the area in that price range, you’re not offending the agent by telling them so – you’re helping them. You could also be helping yourself. If enough buyers have the same reaction and there are no offers on the property, your comments might actually help result in a change in vendor’s offering – including a price reduction.

Finally, if you do have a positive reaction to the property, don’t be too concerned about showing your interest. The listing agent wants this deal to happen and so do you, so in a sense you’re working towards the same goal. Just clarify if you have your own sales professional to represent your interests at negotiation time and you can defer any questions you don’t want to answer to them.

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