People Getting "Boozy" At Open Houses....

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

Open houses are so all over the place. They can be so boring, fun, different, eventful, meaningful and even dramatic. I've attended 2 hour open houses and 8 hour open houses. The most elaborate open house I've ever attended included professional models who rotated expensive clothes/handbags and even swimsuits. In another room there were facials & massages. There were two full bars, butlers walking with food, music, valet service, prizes and of course a guest appearance by some local sportscaster. 

The more confusing open houses served chicken bites, Twinkies and super expensive wine. Because it all goes together - perfectly. I was surprised there wasn't a game of Twister in the garage for that one. 

There's one commonality with just about every broker open house - booze. I've seen mostly wine, but there's often canned beer and sometimes hard liquor. 

The thing that captivates me most about these events isn't the Pumpkin Flavored vodka, but the sheer liability from hosting such an event. I hate to be the Debbie Downer of the party, but alcohol always impairs people, even if it's just one drink. I see no problem with alcohol when consumed in moderation and if someone want's to get hammered, that's their business, but they need to do it in a responsible place and atmosphere. 

Here's a few things to consider if you're a Realtor and you're hosting an open house:

1. Do you have permission from the seller (in writing) to serve alcohol in their home?
2. Do you have permission and acceptance from the broker of your real estate office? Will errors and omission insurance cover a claim at an open house?
3. Do you feel comfortable being responsible for other people AFTER they leave  your open house? What if they kill someone or injure them? Intoxication manslaughter and Intoxication assault or no joking manner and the owner of the home and brokerage holding the open house could all be held responsible in some way.

I love to have a good time. I really do, maybe that's why I'm writing this post. A few months back I attended an open house that was being promoted by a local builder. The home was gorgeous and the price point was well over 2 million dollars. The floors were sleek, smooth and very slippery. The stair case wrapped around endlessly - they were made of wood and the first step was granite. 

As I was about to leave I noticed a local top producer/area specialist trip on the very last step. Her high heel caught the end of something and she fell straight to the ground breaking her glasses and bleeding from her side of her head. Thankfully she was okay, but she had to call her husband to come pick her up.  

The point is, is that having a good time is always a great idea, at least in my book, but you better make sure you have permission to "have a party." In this business it's not okay to ask for forgiveness AFTER something has gone terrible wrong.


You know that house with the free facials and beef wellington? It never sold. 




Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)




The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose. All information is copywritten and the property of Greg Nino.  






This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Real Estate Best Practices
Out Of The Box!
Almost Anything Goes
Lessons Learned
broker open house

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Shuchi Agrawal
Kanam Realty Group/Kanam Commercial - Flower Mound, TX
Serving Dallas / Ft. Worth

Great post.  I just feel that the more complicated you make an Open House, the more you distract people coming in from the real purpose of having one.  I have always believed in the KISS philosophy... That's what I think Open Houses should be. 

Mar 08, 2015 01:41 PM #1
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Not something I would be doing but we see this type of thing in many high-end homes.

Mar 08, 2015 02:29 PM #2
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

IN my opinion booze and business should never mix, though based on the amount of alcohol consumed at our Realtor conventions, I am a minority in that opinion.

Mar 08, 2015 04:23 PM #3
Tony Morganti
RE/MAX Crossroads in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, Ohio - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
CRS, ABR, SRES - Cuyahoga Falls, Stow

I agree with Bob.  Alcohol and business is a bad combination for many reasons but liability for accidents and injuries is a big one.  Open Houses should be about one thing - the property.  If people are coming for other reasons they are the wrong people.  

Mar 09, 2015 12:44 AM #4
Liz Wallace
Century 21 Sherlock Homes - Rockville Centre, NY
Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N

I'm in metro NY, the litigating capital of the world.  Never, ever any alchohol at any open house, broker or public.  Fine on tv but not in the real world

Mar 09, 2015 09:25 AM #5
Kevin Hancock
Evergreen Home Loans - Poulsbo, WA
The Hancock Mortgage Team

Million Dollar Listing (LA and NY) is one of my favorite shows, but it always amazes me when they host these elaborate broker's open parties, many serving alcohol.  Seems like a waste of time and money, not to mention the liability.

Mar 18, 2015 07:05 AM #6
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Greg Nino

Houston, Texas
Providing Real Estate Advice 7 days a week!
Spam prevention

Additional Information