Do You Know Your Open House Miranda Rights?
That house you've been watching is holding an Open House this weekend. But before you gas up the car and head over to scope out the home, there are a couple of things you need to consider.
Who Does The Open House agent work for?
A) The Seller
B) The Buyer
C) None of the above
Answer: NOT B, but A and/or C. If it's the listing agent for the home, their job is to work FOR the seller: SELL THE HOME is their job. Their job is to sell you THAT home and no other, even if there's a better match for you down the block.
And if the open house agent is another agent from the office and NOT the listing agent, while they'd like to sell the home, their primary interest may be in getting more buyers.
Is everything you say to the Open House agent confidential?
C) it depends
Answer: Again, NOT B, but A and/or C. Because the agent works for the seller, ANYTHING you say to them can be taken back to the seller and used against you. Innocent small talk that tips off the agent regarding your motivation, how long you've been looking, etc., may all lead to giving away thousands in negotiating leverage.
Answer C only applies if you don't have your own agent and decide to let the listing agent be a dual agent (legal in Ohio) and that's ONLY if you act immediately. Otherwise, everything you said before may have already been given to the seller.
So in a nutshell what we're telling you is that while no one reads you an actual Miranda Rights before you step into an Open House, you might want to consider that everything you say can and will be used against you during negotiations if that home works out to be THE ONE for you.
Have more questions about the home buying process in Ohio? Call 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com.
Liz and Bill aka BLiz