Why Owners Should Not Be Present for an Open House

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster Real Estate Inc.

While you may think that no one knows your home like you do and no one can show off all of its unique features like you can, you do not want to present for an open house. As an experienced Maryland real estate agent, I can tell you that having the owner there is likely to make a prospective buyer uncomfortable. While it is hard to imagine people looking over your Annapolis real estate, it is even harder to have them looking at it while you are there. Letting it go for the length of an open house can be good practice for the time when you have to let it go completely because it has been sold. Comfort Factor You want buyers to feel free to ask questions, take notes, consult the partner/friend/agent that is with them. They cannot do this if they feel as if the owner is watching. People who don't feel free to ask questions and make comments are less likely to buy. On the other hand, you will not want to be there to hear offhand comments from prospective buyers. Open houses can attract serious home shoppers and people who are merely curious; people in both groups can say things that may not be to your liking as they scrutinize the property. Staying Neutral Beyond the fact that an overeager owner can possibly annoy a prospective buyer, there is also the possibility of revealing too much. While you must work with an agent to make sure you disclose all that is legally required, getting comfortable and chatting with a buyer may mean saying too much. A buyer doesn't need to know that you think your neighbors are annoying, for example. A real estate agent can answer questions and present a neutral perspective.

Posted by

John Day agent


Long and Foster Real Estate

Annapolis, MD 21401

Comments (5)

Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

John, you are right on the money here.  I can't imagine how uncomfortable a buyer would feel trying to get info out of his realtor if the owner is hovering nearby.  A little tense I would imagine.

Jun 15, 2011 04:53 AM
Allen 2222
Austin, TX

The owner shouldn't be there for an Open House, OR any showings. I've never had a buyer that wanted to buy a house where they had run into the owner - it was just too personal and made them too uncomfortable.

Jun 15, 2011 04:55 AM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

John, I agree! Sometimes what may be a great feature to the owner, may not interest the future owner. So it is best to have a prospective owner come in without the current owner so that they can feel comfortable to ask questions or comment. Thanks for sharing!

Jun 15, 2011 04:56 AM
Dennis Puckett
Adams,Cameron & Co. - Deland, FL


I agree. It's hard for a prospective home buyer to feel comfortable if they feel that someone is around the corner ease dropping on them. They need to feel free to speak and ask questions or make comments without worrying about offending anyone. Every mans home is his castle and even the most benign comment can be misconstrued.

Jun 15, 2011 04:58 AM
Lindsay Quady
Buffalo, MN

Even as an agent if I am showing a home and the owner is home, I can't concentrate on the space because I am thinking about what they are listening to and what we are saying!

Jun 15, 2011 05:03 AM