An Open Letter to Disrespectful Guests at Open Houses

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Liberty Homes RS-#62825

Dear Guests,

I invited you into my seller's home via ad in the paper, internet marketing and word of mouth for an Open House. You came into the home on a rainy day with your muddy slippers on and ignored the sign to "Please remove your shoes".   I had to hold my hand up to stop you from coming on the brand new carpet!

I'll remember to order those throw away shoe covers ...

....because your feet were muddy even after you took your slippers off!

You then proceeded into the house blubbering incoherently and walking sideways.  I could smell the alcohol on your breath when you shouted, "Happy Mother's Day"!   You then started looking around at the seller's stuff and commenting on the "Roomba Cordless Robot Vacuum Cleaner". 

You didn't pay attention and adhere to my request for signing in on the guest register sheet.  I had to ask you a second time before you blubbered something and wrote illegibly. Why did I even ask?  

Your child then ran up the stairs and started to fly open closets. I had to run after the child and ask politely to come back downstairs until the parents were ready to come up. When we came back downstairs you were looking in the refrigerator and asked me if you could have a beer.

I exclaimed NO! 

I then politely asked you if you were here to view the home and if not ...PLEASE LEAVE!

You are the guest in the home to VIEW the home  for sale and not disrespect the agent and the seller and prance around like you are the owner of the home.  Please take off your shoes, sign in on the guest sheet and control your children.

Is it too much to ask to respect others homes when you are a guest in their home?

If it is, you are not on the guest list.

Posted by



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Eric #75  If you lived here you would understand that Open Houses here DO work. The majority of my listings sell during Open Houses and my buyers have attended an Open House (when I could not attend with them) and called me to view it again and put in an offer.  I AM THE LISTING AGENT and the seller requests Open Houses. I also have many sites with my listings on them with virtual tours and more. depends on the local area and neighborhoods to determine if an Open House will work. Oahu is densely populated and Open House's are the Sunday event where buyers will jump from neighborhood to neighborhood to view properties for sale.

May 11, 2011 05:42 AM #76
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Alex #66  How do you know they are telling you their real name? 


May 11, 2011 05:46 AM #77
Alex Gurchin
Keller Williams LIfestyles Realty - London, ON

For most people, it's hard to tell a lie A; while looking you in the eyes, and B; standing with their family. I say 'most,' but after I tell them why, serious buyers will be honest. When I get home, I look up name, numbers, addresses to make sure everything jives. 99% of the time, during my follow-up call within 24 hours, they were honest. There is 1% that will give a fake number, or an honest mistake, but they can never fake number, name and address, so when I call them, they are surprised, but appreciate hearing from me after my hard work to get the right info. I owe it to my clients to be thorough.

May 11, 2011 06:03 AM #78
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

If we sat down and tried to think of every scenario that "could" happen at an open house, we wouldn't have time to sell homes. Sorry you had to deal with this Sally. Unbelievable about their behavior!

May 11, 2011 06:13 AM #79
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

#78 sound like me...that's what I do when I get home!  In fact, I google online contacts before responding.  Great follow through and detailed indeed! 

Jackie...You got it!  Bottom's all in the manner of how i handle this case it was a neighbor family so I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they had a luncheon and had a few glasses of wine or something....needless to say...they did not ask for a beer lol


May 11, 2011 06:33 AM #80
Ann Wilkins
Bay Sotheby's International Realty - Oakland, CA
Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA

Speaking of bathrooms, I had someone leave a giant turd in the toilet.  They went to flush but the toilet backed up so they just closed the lid. Later on at the open house I was with a potential buyer sniffing around in the bathroom because she "smelled something". It wasn't until a woman asked permission to use the bathroom that we uncovered the issue.  I was mortified but looking back, it is rather funny.

May 11, 2011 06:42 AM #81
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Of course they make up names when they sign the guest register (#78), or they fill it out illegibly, or they fill it out partially. Reluctance to fill out the register is my main complaint about open house attendees (other than the fact that they never buy the house).

It is a private residence, and the homeowner would never open the door and let in every stranger who happens to ring the doorbell. A homeowner would open the door and wait for the stranger to introduce herself and state her business--and rightfully so. I believe that we should expect no less of the visitors on open house day.

In short, the agent who is responsible for the property on that day has a RIGHT and a NEED to know who has been in the house, just in case something goes wrong. Security of personal property is not as big an issue if the house is vacant, so I'm less likely to feel like an unarmed guard.

May 11, 2011 08:11 AM #82
Ray Waisler
Finance of America - Atlanta, GA
NMLS #6621 - Specializing in Jumbo FHA & VA

Sally, as I read more and more of the blogs describing the Realtors' daily activities, trials and tribulations, I'm amazed, horrified and most of all thankful. I'm thankful that I don't do it for a living for fear of going to jail after hurting someone for some of the stupidities perpetrated on Realtors. LOL. My heart goes out to you guys.

May 11, 2011 08:13 AM #83
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Open houses don't work in this community, so I have no tales from them. But I have had children in my office whose parents let them run wild. There were times when my secretary had to stop her work and follow them around just to keep them from pulling files out of the cabinets and playing on agents' computers.

One warm summer day when the door was standing open a 2 year old wandered out the door and across the parking lot because Mom wasn't paying any attention. Luckily someone else in the office spotted her and went running out before she got run over.

May 11, 2011 08:24 AM #84
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Slob.If he was a serious buyer, opening fridge, cabinets, closets, would be tolerable, but sounds like this guy goes to open houses like some people go to yard sales. Just something to do to kill time. Good thing there wasn't a football game or NASCAR race on tv, or he would have asked you for the remote.

May 11, 2011 08:34 AM #85
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

Another reason not to hold open houses - truth is we have way too little control over what happens during an open house.  and, this person got back into a car with his child?????

May 11, 2011 10:06 AM #86
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Ann....that's a big YIKES!

Marte: For sure that is just as bad as we get all of the same in our office too!

May 11, 2011 11:33 AM #87
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

Congrats on the feature-- I had a guy walk into my open house with his dog on a leash.  He actually just walked the dog right into the house.  I could not believe it. You are one of my favorite bloggers... and I featured you in my Collage Contest photo-- Thanks for all your great posts!  Kathy

May 11, 2011 01:05 PM #88
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

I don't know whether to mad with you or laughing at the description you wrote...I am trying to imagine the looks on your face while this was happening...but the seriousness of the situation is that I have seen these types actually doing a coordinated case of the place for later use...perhaps a call to the local constable next time.

(When I go to an open house or to any client showing...although never drunk...I do look in the refridgerator as a wealth of knowledge can be learned by what is in the fridge and how clean the edge of the dishwasher is).

May 11, 2011 03:03 PM #89
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

Wow, I've never had an experience like that one!  I can't believe they asked if they could have a beer out of the owner's fridge.  I really like what you said, if you can't sign in when viewing someone elses home than you aren't on the guest list.  No fun having to keep an eye on their child either.

May 11, 2011 03:32 PM #90
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Kathy....serious?  That is really bad. I almost forgot about that contest!  I have time ..thanks for the reminder!

Mike...mad at me?  Aww.  I don't hide my expressions well and in the end all ended well :) 

Patricia: That was exaggerated ....but I've had people look in the fridge before too.

May 11, 2011 06:01 PM #91
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Sally, very funny...asking for a beer...what's wrong with this picture it is not a party, but an open house! Ccongrats on the feature!

May 12, 2011 03:45 AM #92
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

Wow! That sounds like a chaotic open house! Good to have it over with!

May 12, 2011 08:00 AM #93
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Sounds like the open house from hell.  I hope you were not there alone with these people.

May 12, 2011 08:08 AM #94
Ellen Wright Adams
Academy Mortgage.......We are a Equal Housing Lender - Eugene, OR
LoansByEllen- Licensed in Oregon


On Mother's Day even!  I can't believe someone had the guts to act that way (and I assume he was driving too???)  Yuck.

May 12, 2011 11:13 AM #95
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