Why do agents at open houses always ask me if I'm working with anyone?
There are two answers to this question. Let's start with the logical one: If you are working with another agent, the open house agent will know to extend professional courtesy and respect to both you and your agent, in recognition of your established relationship. Even so, he will be able to answer many of your questions about the home, and nothing prohibits any attempts by him to present the home positively, as is his duty to the homeowner. But be aware that any information you voluntarily share with him, such as your motivation for moving, your financial situation, or even how much you like the home, may find it's way to the seller and be used to their advantage, should you decide to make an offer on that home. So be careful - or even better, take your agent with you when you go to look at any property.
And the second answer to your question? Since, in most market areas, open houses account for less than 1% of all sales, there must be another answer - the real one: Agents sit open houses to obtain new clients. Many people who go to open houses are just beginning their home search and have not yet established a relationship with a real estate agent. Open houses are a good place to meet potential clients, and many new agents use this as one of their main strategies to get their business going - there are always new agents in any real estate office eager to sit open houses for other agents' listings.
(It's an interesting proposition for sellers: Hey, Mr. & Mrs. Seller, would you please clean your home to a sparkling finish on Sunday morning and then leave, so I can use it as a storefront for my business for the afternoon? There isn't a great chance I can sell it for you, but I might be able to pick up some business for myself.)
So that's why one of the first things you'll be asked when you walk into an open house is whether you're working with someone. And if you say that you're not, you may find that you have a new best friend.
Mary & Dick Greenberg
Elevations Real Estate LLC
106 East Oak St.
Fort Collins, CO 80524