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Open House Diary: The Just Looking Conundrum

Loudoun County Front PorchNobody Wants to Talk to a Realtor at an Open House

It just happened again. I’m holding an open house, and a couple walks in; immediately I can sense that their desire to see the house has overridden their non-desire to speak with a REALTOR® inside the house. They clearly don’t want to talk to me, don’t want to sign in, are looking around, not making eye contact. I’m welcoming but trying to not get in their way. I ask if they found their way to the open from directional signs or from advertising, and they do answer me. The wife heads downstairs as I ask the husband if they have been to many open houses today (a few, apparently). He says he’s had about enough of opens, trying to look beyond what’s there to what could be there to meet their needs. I’d love to encourage the conversation, but he’s still not making eye contact. I say, “I understand” about the time the wife hits the top of the steps to declare that the house is too small for them. They do explain why, and as I point them in the direction of some slightly larger homes, they are backing toward the door, clearly ready to escape. They say they appreciate the suggestion and take off.

Now, some agents would have tried to hold them verbally hostage, force a business card in their hand, make them take a brochure they didn’t want. But that’s not me. I know that I gave them an opportunity to talk to me further about their needs, but they obviously didn’t want to. (They may already be working with another agent, they didn’t say.) As they shut the door behind them, I couldn’t help but think “I could have helped you.”

You Could Have Totally Picked My Brain

For whatever reason, it seems like some potential buyers don’t recognize how much help an agent can be in recommending a property, a neighborhood, a home design that might work for them. I could have suggested which townhomes they could focus on that would have given them enough room for a grand piano on the lower level, and an entrance for students, because I know my market well enough to know which homes inside each community have the proper elevation to allow for a walkout downstairs. The reason why I do this is to help people, even if it’s an offhand conversation at an open house that might point them in the direction of the home or neighborhood that would be a great fit for them. This is what I do: I’m in homes and neighborhoods every day.

Buyers need to know that their buyer’s agent will hold their information confidential and look out for their interests above all else. That we will listen to their needs and help them find the best city, neighborhood, and home that suits them. That we will negotiate fiercely on their behalf to help them get the best deal. That we will put knowledge and experience to work as they progress through the loan process, the inspection process, and the closing itself. The goal is for the transaction to feel so smooth that the client doesn’t realize all the hard work the buyer’s agent has put in to make it that way. The ultimate goal is to shepherd them through the process to arrive at the closing on their dream home.

So for the couple that came through my open house that didn’t give me the chance: I’m sorry that I didn’t get to show you how I could help. I sincerely hope that you are working with a good buyers agent that will guide you to the home of your dreams. And if you aren’t working with one yet, please consider doing so…a buyer’s agent will be able to help you more than you realize.


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One Response to “Open House Diary: The Just Looking Conundrum”

  • cooppics
    Written on

    We used to have a REALLY aggressive agent in our office — I could always tell when people had been to one of her open houses first. I couldn’t get eye contact either. I know just what you mean, it was too bad.

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Michael and Heather Elias are full time real estate professionals and licensed REALTORS at Century 21 Redwood Realty. They sincerely hope you enjoy reading this blog, and would love the opportunity to work with you.

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