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.